* Margaret Ren is new BNP Paribas China banking chairman
* Ren to lead bank's China investment banking strategy
* Veteran banker Ren left Bank of America earlier this year
HONG KONG, Aug 10 BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) has
appointed Margaret Ren, a star China banker and a relative of
China's former premier, as chairwoman and chief executive of its
Corporate Finance for Greater China.
Ren, a former managing director and chairwoman of China
Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch (Asia-Pacific), will report
to Christian de Charnace, BNP Paribas head of corporate finance
for Asia-Pacific, the bank said in a statement.
BNP Paribas said it planned to expand its investment banking
capabilities in the Greater China region under Ren's leadership.
"She is a pioneer in investment banking in China and as a
result we have a significant opportunity to further strengthen
our strategic dialogue with clients by expanding our investment
banking capabilities in Greater China," said Mignonne Cheng, head
of North Asia, BNP Paribas.
Paul Yang, head of corporate finance for Greater China, will
continue with his current role, reporting to Ren.
Ren, daughter-in-law of former Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang,
was a star banker at Merrill, which was bought earlier this year
by Bank of America (BAC.N).
BofA's purchase of Merrill rescued the New York brokerage
from near collapse. But the financial struggles of BofA since the
deal have led to a large wave of defections by top Merrill talent
across the globe.
Merrill hired Ren in February 2007, at a time when Chinese
investment banking revenues were soaring past the $1 billion mark
for the industry.
Prior to Merrill, Ren was a top banker at Citigroup (C.N),
although she was suspended by the bank in June 2004 over an
inquiry into the December 2003 $3.5 billion IPO of China Life
Insurance Co , in which she played a key role.
Ren left Citigroup soon after the suspension and was cleared
of any wrongdoing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Media reports at the time of her Merrill hiring said Ren
holds a master's degree from Princeton University in the United
States, and is the daughter of former Guangdong Party Secretary
(Reporting by Leonora Walet; Editing by Chris Lewis)