Report: Donald Tang to start merchant bank

The ex-vice chairman of Bear Stearns has reportedly left new parent JPMorgan to set up a private equity firm.

Donald Tang, a Los Angeles-based JPMorgan managing director and former Bear Stearns vice chairman, has left JPMorgan to start a private equity fund, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He also plans to launch an advisory unit and investment product distribution unit, much like a “merchant bank with a distribution platform”, with shareholder base comprised of multinational corporations, sources told the newspaper.

Tang, a Shanghai native as well as a naturalised US citizen, was Bear Stearns’ lead negotiator for a $1 billion cross-investment with China’s Citic Securities, a deal that ultimately fell through when JPMorgan took over Bear Stearns.

In 1992, he was tasked with building Bear Stearns’ Asian business and set up offices across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, before his promotion to vice chairman when he returned to Los Angeles in 2001.