Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Big Fat Chinese Relatives

Some family trees with particularly high canopies

This SCMP article is an interesting follow-up to the blog post from one month ago (Banking’s Blood Relationships) that JP Morgan and the other big banks are being investigated in Hong Kong for their practice of hiring “princelings” of China’s communist leadership to win lucrative deals on the Mainland. It’s a story that has drawn outrage from some quarters of the public, while drawing a clearly audible “well, duh...” from others familiar with a long-standing and widespread business practice. This article reports that “princelings” who have grown uncomfortable with having the media and regulatory spotlight shown on their family tree are increasingly giving up their prestigious positions with the global banks to mine their trade under the cover of Chinese financial institutions with branches in Hong Kong.
Over the years, many young and ambitious professionals around the world view their tenures at investment banks and management consulting firms as way stations to gain training, experience and branding. They then go after the really big game of working for private equity or other investment firms or taking up management positions in family-run conglomerates, most of which may be less known but are many times more lucrative. The increased presence of government hound dogs sniffing around the global banks in China may simply be accelerating this migration.

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