Will China’s new leadership push through new financial reforms? The private sector is growing rapidly but private firms complain about their inability to get loans. Reforms undertaken over the past 20 years have brought change, but much remains to be done. There are now many non-governmental banks and financial institutions operating in China, including foreign firms. But how effectively can they operate? How open is China’s financial system to the non-governmental banks and to foreign participation? Are the challenges different for foreign firms? How might foreign firms best cooperate with local firms as Chinese firms increasingly globalize? Two bankers, James Chen, head of Hollyhigh International Capital, the first investment banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in Mainland China, and Carl Walter, recently retired Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase, China, will assess the changes in China’s financial realm.
James (Mingjian) Chen is the chairman of Hollyhigh International Capital, the first investment banking firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in Mainland China. He is also an adviser of the Beijing Olympics organization. Chen is a member of the liaison committee in the China National Democratic Construction Association, the chairman of the M&A Elite Club, as well as a member of the Fuping Foundation for poverty alleviation. He also serves as the chief editor of the China M&A Review, and has published Winning the Deal and M&A Revolution.
Chen graduated from Tsinghua University’s Department of Economics and Management in 1993. After graduation, he worked as a trader at China Great Wall Financial Company for several years. He then established Tsinghua Unisplendour and Hollyhigh Investment Company, in 1997 and in 1998 respectively. In addition to his work at Hollyhigh, Chen is actively engaged in M&A projects for international corporations, such as Lafarge, Shell, SK, and Scottish & Newcastle.
Chen’s deal between Teda and the Meilun Group was used as the first M&A case study at Tsinghua University. He has lectured at many renowned institutions, including Harvard University and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Carl E. Walter worked in China and its financial sector for the past 20 years and actively participated in many of the country’s financial reform efforts. While at Credit Suisse First Boston he played a major role in China’s groundbreaking first overseas IPO in 1992, as well as the first primary listing of a state-owned enterprise on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994. He was a member of senior management at China International Capital Corporation, China’s first and most successful joint venture investment bank where he supported a number of significant domestic and international stock and bond underwritings for major Chinese corporations. More recently at JPMorgan he was China chief operating officer and chief executive officer of its banking subsidiary. During this time Walter helped build a pioneering domestic security, risk and currency trading operation.
A long time resident of Beijing before his recent return to the United States, Walter is fluent in Mandarin and holds a PhD from Stanford University and a graduate certificate from Peking University. He is the co-author of Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundations of China’s Extraordinary Rise as well as Privatizing China: Inside China’s Stock Markets.