A key figure in the investigation of JPMorgan Chase’s hiring practices in Asia is leaving the investment bank.
The departure of Fang Fang, 48, the chief executive for China investment banking, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. authorities are investigating whether hiring decisions at JPMorgan were made to win business from Chinese companies in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The FCPA prohibits giving or promising to give anything of value to a foreign official in order to obtain or retain business or gain an unfair advantage.
Hiring a family member or friend of a government official isn’t always a violation of the FCPA. But a hiring decision intended to reward or induce an official to award work could be an offense.
In August, JPMorgan opened an internal investigation that flagged more than 200 hires for review.
The Wall Street Journal said this week that U.S. authorities are examining whether JPMorgan’s hiring of Fang, who is China Everbright Group Chairman Tang Shuangning’s son, helped the bank win assignments from Everbright.
JPMorgan has provided U.S. prosecutors with emails from Fang that discuss the details of his hiring, the WSJ said.
Fang was appointed to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference for a five-year term that ended in March 2103.
JPMorgan has stopped working on two initial public offerings during the investigation. It withdrew from underwriting a $3 billion Hong Kong listing by China Everbright Bank Co Ltd.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.