ICBC’s Jiang Jianqing To Retire, Creating Void at China’s Largest Lender

The longtime ICBC chairman has expressed a desire to retire, not yet naming a successor.

Jiang Jianqing, the longtime Chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), has announced his decision to retire, heralding a key change in personnel and an upcoming vacancy at one of the country’s largest lenders, per a recent Reuters report.

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Mr. Jianqing had been the de-facto head of ICBC for the past sixteen years, having originally stepped into the role in 2000. During his tenure he helped lead ICBC through a bitter insolvency crisis, as well as a global financial crisis and a dearth of liquidity during the 2000s. In addition, he helped oversee the group’s listing and IPO, which in 2006 was the largest in history.

At this juncture there are several unknowns, such as the timing of his retirement, the fallout of his departure, or for that matter who the next Chairman of the ICBC will be. For Mr. Jianqing, the career trajectory at ICBC represents an extraordinary case, having originally joined the lender as a teller back in 1986, eventually growing in rank and position to lead the group.

Mr. Jianqing previously served as the President of the Bank of Shanghai in 1995 and also as the President of ICBC Shanghai Branch in 1997. This paved the way for his promotion in 1999 as the Vice President (VP) and Vice Party Chief of ICBC. Between early 2000 and 2005, Mr. Jianqing also worked as the President and CPC Party Chief of ICBC as well as its Chairman of Board of Directors.

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