JPMorgan in Talks to Rehire Zhang From Chinese DNA Giant

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. is in talks to rehire Ling Zhang from Chinese DNA sequencing giant BGI Genomics Co., as it seeks to strengthen its Asia health-care deals coverage after a senior departure this year, people familiar with the matter said.

Zhang is expected to start working on the bank’s health-care investment banking team in Hong Kong early next year, the people said, who asked not to be identified because details are private. He briefly worked at JPMorgan before joining BGI as chief operating officer in 2015.

No final decisions have been made, and details of Zhang’s role including his start date are still being discussed, said the people.

Banks have been vying for top health-care talent after a change to Hong Kong listing rules for early-stage biotech firms led to a flurry of planned initial public offerings from the sector. JPMorgan’s previous co-head of health care for Asia Pacific, Jun Wu, left the lender to join Jefferies Financial Group Inc., people familiar with the matter said in October.

Bank of America Corp. last month appointed its head of greater China health-care research, Jessica Li, to lead investment banking coverage for the sector, replacing another dealmaker who left for Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“As a public company, we will make an official company announcement of information disclosure if there is any change in management,” a representative for BGI Genomics said in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries.

A representative for JPMorgan declined to comment, while Zhang didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Shares of BGI Genomics, the listed arm of the world’s biggest DNA-sequencing group, have fallen about 72 percent this year, compared to a 29 percent decline in the benchmark Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite Index. The stock is still up more than fourfold since the company’s July 2017 listing, giving the firm a $3.3 billion market value.

Bloomberg News reported in April that BGI Genomics was seeking to raise about $1 billion selling a stake in its equipment unit ahead of a planned initial public offering of the business.

Zhang was previously a managing director at Citigroup Inc., where he worked for eight years, before joining JPMorgan for a stint of less than a year in 2015, his LinkedIn profile shows.

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