China Renaissance Holdings, an investment bank, is struggling to reassure clients and staff after the disappearance of its founder, chairman, and CEO Bao Fan. On Monday, shares in the company fell by 5%, adding to the record low set in the previous session, as the bank said it had been unable to contact Bao. The reasons for his disappearance remain unclear, but it follows a pattern of high-profile executives going missing during an anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.
China Renaissance has sought to allay fears that Bao’s “unavailability” is related to its business, stating that operations are continuing normally. However, the incident has raised concerns about “key man risk” for investors. Co-founder Kevin Xie and investment banking head Wang Lixing are running the company in Bao’s absence and have asked staff not to spread rumors. In a message to staff, Wang said that “everyone should trust the company” and not be discouraged by “some difficulties in the short term.”