BEIJING, February 16 (TMTPOST) – Bao Fan, the founder of China Renaissance, has disappeared from the public since he attended the 2022 Future Science Awards ceremony last December.
A person close to an insider of China Renaissance told TMTPost that Bao Fan, the founder of a high-profile financial institution in China’s capital markets, has been taken away by the authorities to provide cooperation during an investigation into company president Cong Lin, who has been under investigation for a few months.
Accoridng to an announcement made by China Renaissance to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors has learned that Bao, the Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and the controlling shareholder of the company, cannot be reached by the company.
“The board is unaware of any information that shows the connection or possible connection between his disappearance and the business and operations of the company. Meanwhile, the company’s business and operations are going as usual,” said the announcement.
Cong Lin, the president of the financial institution, has been under investigation for a few months. TMTPost reached employees of the company and was told that they had no clues either.
According to an announcement on the website of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Bao increased equity holding by 108,000 shares to become a shareholder with a 48.81% stake on October 7, 2022.
With Bao’s absence from day-to-day operations may have an impact on the financial institution that played a major role in mergers and acquisitions in China’s capital markets. China Renaissance disclosed in its interim report in September 2022 that a debt repayment to the Hong Kong Branch of the Bank of Communications will be triggered if Bao is no longer the chair or the single largest shareholder of the financial institution. In May 2021, China Renaissance signed a financing agreement with the Bank of Communications, under which a loan of up to US$300 million will be granted to China Renaissance.
Bao founded China Renaissance in 2005 after working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. The company initially engaged in providing PE-related financial advisory services. Later on, it served as financial advisors to companies operating in the new economy industry. In 2015, China Renaissance participated in 13 mergers and acquisitions in China’s Internet industry, including the high-profile merger of Didi and Kuaidi that changed the landscape of China’s ride-sharing service sector.
In 2016, China Renaissance obtaiend securities brokerage license in mainland China. Its securities brokerage firm has never made the list of top 50 brokerage firms in China.
Before Bao’s disappearance, the company was already in a crisis. Cong was taken away by authorities for an investigation in early September 2022. He had worked at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China before joining China Renaissance.