UBS, the chairman’s daughter, and a row over bank connections

David Hellier
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SHE MAY only be a junior banker but Joyce Wei has caused quite a stir in the past few days in the Hong Kong capital markets.

First, JP Morgan pulled away from advising on the flotation of a maker of specialty chemicals on finding that Wei had worked for the bank.

Then it emerged she has been working for UBS, one of the current deal advisers, since November.

All of which would have been fine had Wei not been the daughter of the chairman of Tianhe Chemicals and had investment banks in the region not been under scrutiny for their hiring policies..

JP Morgan’s decision to withdraw from advising on the flotation, comes in the wake of an inquiry by US investigators into its hiring of so-called princelings in China. There are concerns it was getting roles in deals because of improper connections between its staff and the company’s management.

UBS, which has a leading position in equity capital markets, was appointed to work on the deal ahead of the chairman’s daughter joining the firm. She is not believed to be working on the transaction.

UBS, which declined to comment, appeared to be determined last night to continue working on the deal, sources arguing it had no reason to pull away from the deal.