Being in charge of a Chinese brokerage or investment firm might be one of the most dangerous jobs out there at the moment.
A series of high-profile executives have gone missing in recent months, in the wake of China’s stock market crash. As many as 36 companies reported executives missing between January and September this year, according to a Bloomberg report.
Guo is the most high-profile, worth an estimated $6.9 billion (£4.5 billion). His investment group, Fosun, owns Club Med and Cirque du Soleil among others.
It’s not clear whether Guo Guangchang is caught up in an insider trading case, if he’s being investigated as part of the Chinese government’s crackdown on graft, or if he is assisting in an investigation.
What is clear is his fate isn’t unique. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the most high-profile and important missing execs:
- Yim Fung, Chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-listed Guotai Junan International Holdings, went missing in November. Guotai shares tumbled 12% when his disappearance was announced.
- Two senior executives, Chen Jun and Yan Jianlin, of China’s Citic Securities — the firm at the centre of a government probe into China’s stock-market rout — disappeared in November. Their involvement in the probe brings to at least 10 the number of Citic Securities executives implicated in the investigations to determine the causes of the stock plunge that wiped out $5 trillion of market value.
- Zhang Yun, president of the Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s four massive, state-owned banks, was detained in October as part of a corruption probe. The bank is ranked as the world’s third-largest bank with $2.7 trillion in assets, according to SNL Financial.
- Poon Ho Man, chief executive of China Aircraft Leasing Group resigned by letter while on holiday in June and hasn’t been in contact since.
- Xu Jun, chairman of department-store operator Ningbo Zhongbai, disappeared and couldn’t answer questions over his personal connection with hedge-fund manager Xu Xiang, who is under investigation for alleged insider trading according, according to the official Xinhua news agency.