Standard Chartered PE Pro Departs

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A top private equity dealmaker for Standard Chartered (STAN.L) (2888.HK) in Asia has left the bank, a spokeswoman said on Thursday, after clinching a series of property deals in China in the past few years.

Chen Fan, head of Standard Chartered Private Equity for the Greater China region including Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, has left the bank, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the Asia-focused bank said in response to a Reuters inquiry.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters the senior executive of the London-based bank had left to pursue personal career development and no replacement had been appointed immediately.

“Chen is like the image person for Standard Chartered’s private equity business in China as he has been doing deals here and there for the bank for many years so everybody in the industry knows who he is,” said one of the sources.

“To him, to have his own career rather than to work for someone, is very much in line with his personality,” said the source, adding Chen was known for his aggressive and efficient dealmaking style in the China market.

Chen could not be immediately reached for comment, while the sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Many private equity firms have been suffering from the deepening global financial crisis as the value of their portfolio companies dropped while initial public offerings – a vital exit channel for such investors – have literally been suspended in countries such as China.

Standard Chartered Private Equity typically invests between $10 million to $50 million in mid- to late-stage companies whose main operations are located in the Greater China region, South Korea, Southeast Asia or India, according to its website.

It has so far invested in Chinese firms including copper tube maker Golden Dragon Group and several property developers such as Shimao Property Holdings Ltd (0813.HK) and Greentown China Holdings Ltd (3900.HK), according to Chinese media reports.

Standard Chartered and some other foreign investors, including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Goldman Sachs, have been investing in China’s property markets heavily in the past few years while property price in top cities such as Shanghai fell sharply in the financial crisis.

While with Standard Chartered, Chen, who was based in Hong Kong, often struck deals jointly with other global firms such as Goldman Sachs (GS.N).

(Reporting by George Chen in HONG KONG and Samuel Shen in SHANGHAI, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)