21 arrested in wealth management firm probe

Allegations of illegal fundraising see executives rounded up as police launch investigation

21 arrested in wealth management firm probe
At Wealth Professional we’re proud to be a Canadian publication and bring you all the latest news from the financial advice arena in this country: but every now and then a story overseas is so eye catching that we have to bring it to our audience too.

That’s certainly the case with the story of Zhongjin Capital Management in Shanghai, China – a wealth management firm from which 21 executives were arrested last week.

The company has a history of being in the spotlight. It has an imposing office building in the historic Bund and quickly garnered the attention of investors by sponsoring a Saturday night TV dating show in the country and signing up a celebrity spokesman. However, its impressive highs have been replaced with a disastrous low as Reuters reported on executives being rounded up by police on accusations of illegal fundraising.

The story has another bizarre element too. According to Reuters, the only person named by police to date is top executive Xu Qin who was arrested… wait for it… at the airport just as he was going to fly to the Vatican to get married.

Staff at the firm told Reuters that senior managers were arrested as part of a raid. They were interrogated, only allowed to use the bathroom with police supervision, and then hauled to the local police station. Now the company’s headquarters is reportedly not answering calls and its websites have become inaccessible.

The offices of the company were among the most expensive commercial buildings in the city and had become a hotbed for investors. The firm was known for flaunting its wealth, attempting to appear reputable by making itself look like a bank but at the same time the local media has reported on photos from social media accounts of alleged employees holding 10,000 yuan sheafs with cash boxes in the background.

Investors have now been asked to take their cases to the police. However, Reuters reports that one person was asked by the police to sign a statement admitting involvement with illegal fundraising before they would listen to his claim: he promptly refused.

This bizarre story looks to have many more twists to come: with investors already taking to the streets in protest.