Inside a Brazen Scheme to Woo China: Gifts, Golf and a $4,254 Wine – The New York Times

Posted: October 15, 2019 at 11:47 pm


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Mr. Cohrs shared those concerns with the banks lawyers, including Richard Walker, a general counsel. They concluded that Mr. Zhang was operating inside the law, three people familiar with those discussions told The Times.

Mr. Zhang kept going. In 2006 he turned to another consultant named Huang to help the bank secure a role in the I.P.O. of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The stock offering was set to be the worlds largest ever. The banks handling the transaction reaped not only huge fees but also coveted bragging rights.

That man, Huang Xianghui, was lacking in banking experience, and a background check found that the Beijing company he claimed to work for did not appear to exist at the address on his business card. But what he did have, according to the banks documents, was a previous affiliation with PetroChina, the state oil company. Mr. Zhang hired him.

Mr. Huangs original contract said he would receive $3 million for services that were solely focused on the energy industry. In a draft, someone crossed out the energy industry and wrote ICBC, a reference to the giant state-owned bank. Deutsche Bank went on to win a high-profile role in the I.P.O.

The success ingratiated Mr. Zhang with his superiors, especially Mr. Ackermann. Mr. Zhang would escort him to meetings with top Chinese leaders, including the president and premier, as well as to gatherings with cultural and academic experts, Mr. Ackermann said. While at Deutsche Bank, Mr. Zhang was appointed to a top government advisory body, signaling his insider status.

He introduced me to all sorts of people, Mr. Ackermann said in the interview. He was always an honest person and had good ethical standards.

But Mr. Cohrs, who was the head of investment banking, warned the companys lawyers that he was scared of how Lee Zhang was doing business and whether there was money being passed around in envelopes, the documents show.

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Inside a Brazen Scheme to Woo China: Gifts, Golf and a $4,254 Wine - The New York Times

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October 15th, 2019 at 11:47 pm

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