Targeting tech, JP Morgan reshuffles, grows China team

The US bank’s ambition in China is growing as disruptive technologies permeate the financial market. It is reorganising industry groups of its China investment banking team, while ramping up headcount.

Aiming to infuse technology expertise more widely and deeply into its China investment banking business, JP Morgan has completed a finetuning of its internal industry group structure, overturning a decades-long tradition of industry coverage adopted by global investment banks.

Meanwhile, it plans to expand its mainland investment banking team by 40% to 50% over the coming two to three years, the firm said in an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia.

The hiring increase forms part of the bank’s plan to build an onshore joint venture securities company, in which JP Morgan holds a 51% stake. The proposal still awaits regulatory approval.

With the new structure, the investment bank’s China operation is reconfiguring its staff into seven segments: financial services and technology; healthcare and technology; enterprise and technology services; new mobility; lifestyle and smart manufacturing; infrastructure and commodities; and digital access.

“The moves are driven by increasing demand from our [Chinese] clients,” a spokeswoman for the bank told FinanceAsia in an email.

The investment bank is keen on helping Chinese tech unicorns in their fundraising, either via going public offshore or from private markets.

For Chinese firms looking to IPO outside the mainland, Hong Kong remains the most popular destination. Over the past weeks, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has received IPO proposals from several mainland tech unicorns, including Meituan, Inke and Xiaomi.

JP Morgan, whose name showed up on the list of Xiaomi’s joint bookrunners in its prospectus, has every reason to strive for a bigger share in the space with great potential.

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