June 22, 2024
Investment

Chinese billionaire Bao Fan who vanished in 2023 resigns from investment firm




Bao Fan’s 2023 disappearance occurred amid a broad crackdown on major technology companies as Beijing targeted corruption in the financial services industry. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Feb. 2 (UPI) — Chinese billionaire investment banker Bao Fan, who went missing from Beijing a year ago amid a government investigation, resurfaced in a regulatory filing on Friday to formally resign from his role as chief of China Renaissance Holdings.

In a statement released by the investment management firm, the 53-year-old Bao cited “health reasons” and the desire to “spend more time with family” as factors that prompted his decision to step down as chairman and CEO of the company he founded two decades ago.

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China Renaissance co-founder Xie Yi Jing, who has been acting CEO since October, will immediately assume Bao’s former duties, the company announced.

Bao “has no disagreement with the Board and there is no other matter relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders,” the company stated in the filing.

The firm, which has 400 employees in Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York, did not disclose Bao’s current location.

“The Board expresses its deep gratitude for Mr. Bao’s efforts and dedication to the company during the tenure of his service,” the company said.

Bao’s disappearance in February 2023 shook China’s stock market, but soon it was revealed that Bao had spent several days in government custody while being questioned as part of an investigation into his wealthy colleagues.

At the time, Bao was among the most prominent investment bankers in China, managing clients that included Chinese tech giants like Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu, while his disappearance occurred amid a broader crackdown on major technology companies as Beijing targeted corruption in the financial services industry.

Before starting his own investment bank in 2005, Bao learned the ropes of financial asset management with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

In 2020, Alibaba founder Jack Ma vanished for three months after he publicly criticized Beijing’s market regulators, just as the tech magnate was preparing to launch a lucrative venture that was expected to corner the digital payment market in China.

Punitive actions have also been taken against Charles Wang Zhonghe, chairman of investment banking for China at Nomura International in Hong Kong, who was ordered not to travel outside the country; and Chin Shaojie, the founder and CEO of Tencent, who was also held for several weeks by Chinese authorities last year.



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