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Baker & McKenzie has welcomed back lawyer and investment banker Lance Chen as a partner and head of its US securities practice group in Hong Kong and China.
Chen, who is qualified in California, rejoins Bakers from ICBC International Capital, the investment banking arm of China’s largest lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and one of the most active IPO underwriters in Hong Kong. He was previously head of execution at ICBC International Capital and, in that role, he supervised the execution of all the deals completed by the company, including the most recent $3.1bn IPO of Chinese insurer PICC Group.
Prior to ICBC International, Chen served as a managing director of JPMorgan’s mainland China operations from 2004 to July 2011.
It is not the first time he has worked at Bakers. He was a partner in charge of the global securities practice for greater China clients at the firm before moving to JPMorgan in 2004.
“As more and more Chinese companies go abroad to raise funds, I’d very much like to play a role in this bigger trend,” Chen told The Lawyer. “Baker & McKenzie’s global reach and local presences in all of the major money centres, provides me with an excellent platform to continue to assist my Chinese clients with their cross-border fundraising needs. And having worked in both sides of the world and to bring a lawyer and a banker perspective to each transaction, I think clients will really appreciate that.”
Chen added that he expects Hong Kong to remain an attractive IPO venue, particularly for Chinese companies.
“With the improving economic conditions in China and its pro-growth economic policies, along with brighter economic prospects globally, IPO activity in Hong Kong can be expected to pick up. There are many pent-up IPO prospects in the market that are ready to recommence their listing plans as soon as market sentiment improves,” Chen added.