If Jing Ulrich ever met a glass ceiling it would probably soon regret the encounter. While she notes there’s something amiss in a system that sees many women chief financial officers but precious few CEOs, her own career has been one of barrier-busting.
The Harvard and Stanford-educated Beijing native has in effect defined her own role at JP Morgan, rising to managing director and vice-chairman Asia-Pacific while becoming one of the most recognisable financiers in Greater China. Ulrich is a relationship banker who provides top tier clients — from multinationals to sovereign wealth funds — with impartial macro analysis across sectors and geographies.
Recently marking her 10th year with the Wall Street bank, she has a singular remit that encompasses all of the bank’s business lines in all its locations, albeit with an emphasis on China and the Asia-Pacific region.
As JP Morgan’s managing director and vice chairman for Asia-Pacific, one of Ulrich’s most notable achievements is the creation of the Global China Summit, an annual gathering in Beijing of several thousand high-level bankers, corporate heads and government leaders, past and present.
The event, now in its eleventh year, has become an institution in itself, attracting the likes of Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair as well as a veritable Who’s Who of the business world.
The success of the Global China Summit has increased her influence and opened doors off limits to country heads and sector bankers. She sits on the China Business Advisory Council of APEC and regularly attends the G-20 group of nations summit, which will be held in her native China in 2016.
Ulrich, a US citizen, began her career in finance at the same time China launched its stock market. In the early 1990s only a few B-share companies were listed.
As organiser of the Global China Summit and JP Morgan’s CEO Dialogues, Ulrich sets the agenda and gets sparks and ideas — the raw materials of deals — flying.
In the process she has become something of a branding trust for the bank, cultivating high-level clients in China and abroad while engendering trust in a market known for its intrigues. Her understanding of business and culture in the East and West gives her a unique perspective and allows her to process market intelligence and plan winning strategies for the bank’s premium corporate clients.
Ulrich’s career trajectory has closely tracked the economic rise of China. She has been the pointy tip of JP Morgan’s mainland spear as the bank strengthens efforts to get closer to Chinese firms in order to bolster its fee base.
FinanceAsia’s 2015 honour roll of the most influential women across the Asia Pacific region spans investment and commercial bankers.
Published as a feature in the July / August 2015 print edition of FinanceAsia, the series also presents leading women in new areas of finance such as fintech where Asian companies are among the fastest-growing in the world.
We also canvassed corporate financiers for exceptional women working in deal advisory including lawyers and accountants. In the process of researching the series, we found evidence of progress in creating more diverse workplaces in the region.