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China Corporate and Investment Banking Awards

Best bank for financial advisory 2020: CMB

China Merchants Bank

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View full 2020 results

China Merchants Bank (CMB) provides its clients with advisory services beyond just lending and potential acquisitions; under its president Tian Huiyu, CMB has become one of the most tech-savvy banks in the country, using these skills to provide advice on financing strategy and deal structuring.

Its initiatives include the launch of China’s first fintech platform for financial advisory business in 2018. The system, called Zhao Tou Xing, covers 12 areas including equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, structured financing and asset management.

CMB bankers, regardless of where they are based in the country, can upload information regarding their clients’ various demands on the platform, which is designed to identify and match the needs between the financing side and the investment side.

The process is highly automated, supported by technologies including data mining and artificial intelligence. It is also complemented by a dedicated CMB team’s expertise in product design, deal structuring and price negotiation at both the headquarter and branch levels.

Last year, CMB launched the WeChat mini programme for the fintech system, making it even easier for corporates and financial institutions – even those that are not CMB’s clients – to both share and access the data and services.

Since its launch in 2018, the system has seen Rmb2 trillion ($293 billion) in deals announced and Rmb300 billion completed. It brought in nearly Rmb800 million in profits for the bank, including over Rmb500 million in 2019.

The success of CMB’s fintech-backed financial advisory business has also inspired other joint stock and city commercial lenders to follow suit. But it will take a while for any rivals to catch up with CMB.

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