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Morning Coffee: HR, compliance and legal helped with J.P. Morgan’s princeling hiring

Princeling hiring probe continues to affect J.P. Morgan

Lets hire another princeling.

If you thought that J.P.Morgan’s hiring of princelings in China – also know as “sons and daughters”, the children of powerful Chinese executives – was carried out behind closed doors in an ad hoc manner, think again. The Wall Street Journal reports that the recruitment, which was linked to winning IPO mandates, was run in an organised manner “by the human resources, compliance and legal departments” of the US bank.

Moreover, senior J.P. Morgan investment bankers in Asia would “typically discuss” their submissions to the recruitment programme with one another, people familiar with the process told the WSJ. For example, Fang Fang, the former chief executive of J.P. Morgan China who stepped down last year amid on-going US Justice Department investigations into Chinese hiring practices by foreign banks, would discuss them with his boss Todd Marin, the vice chairman of Asia Pacific investment banking who was pushed out of the firm last week.

Neither J.P. Morgan or any of its employees have been accused of wrongdoing by the Justice Department and headhunters in China tell us that Western firms no longer hire young bankers in China purely to gain their parents as clients. But the US probe into past practices continues to affect banks’ senior ranks. J.P. Morgan has held internal discussions for months about which executives associated with the sons and daughters campaign should leave the bank, according to the WSJ. Along with Marin, Catherine Leung, vice chairwoman of Asia investment banking, will be leaving J.P. Morgan in coming weeks. An anonymous source told the newspaper that removing employees involved in the hiring could help J.P. Morgan be seen in a better light in a Justice Department settlement. Expect more heads to roll.


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