Bao Fan: 5 facts about missing star Chinese dealmaker and his firm

  • Bao Fan has gone missing in the latest disappearance of a top business executive in the country, unnerving investors

First Published19 Feb 2023, 12:03 PM IST
The reasons for Bao Fan's disappearance are still unclear.
The reasons for Bao Fan’s disappearance are still unclear.

Top Chinese dealmaker Bao Fan is unreachable, according to China Renaissance Holdings Ltd, which is led by Bao as chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of the investment bank. The stock in the investment firm dipped 28% in Hong Kong on 17 February.

The board said it was not aware of "any information that indicates that Bao Fan's unavailability is or might be related to the business and/or operations of the group".

The dealmaker's disappearance is the latest in a series of cases of high-profile Chinese executives going missing with little explanation after Xi launched a broad anti-corruption probe in late 2021 targeting the financial sector, which brought down dozens of officials and ensnared China’s investment bankers.

In late 2020, Alibaba founder Jack Ma also disappeared from public view for three months, after making comments critical of market regulators. He had been due to publicly list his digital payments firm Ant Financial – which would have most likely made him the richest man in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry ‘unaware’ of situation

Responded to questions about the top tech-sector dealmaker, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said they are unaware of the situation.

One of China's best-connected bankers, Bao was involved with major technology mergers including the tie-up of ride-hailing firms Didi and Kuaidi, food delivery giants Meituan and Dianping, and travel devices platforms Ctrip and Qunar.

The reasons for Bao's disappearance are still unclear.

Below are five facts about Bao and his firm:

1) Bao entered China's prestigious Fudan University in 1989, and later received his master's degree from the BI Norwegian School of Management. He later worked at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.

2) Bao started China Renaissance in 2005 as a two-person team. The firm started its operations with financial advisory and quickly expanded into services including underwriting, sales and trading, as well as asset management. In recent years, Bao has been playing an increasingly active role in the group's private equity business.

3) China Renaissance went public in Hong Kong in 2018 after raising $346 million. In recent years it has acted as adviser for some of China's biggest tech IPOs, including those of JD.Com Inc and Kuaishou Technology as well as Didi's New York listing in 2021.

4) The firm is also an active investor in the tech sector. In 2019, it raised more than 6.5 billion yuan ($945 million) in a yuan-denominated fund. Its investment management business has assets worth around 48.6 billion yuan by the end of last June.

5) The firm is currently ranked ninth on China's equity capital markets league table for 2023, according to Refinitiv. It earned $20.6 million in Chinese related investment banking fees in 2022, down from $43.13 million a year earlier.

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First Published:19 Feb 2023, 12:03 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldBao Fan: 5 facts about missing star Chinese dealmaker and his firm

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