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J.P. Morgan Accelerates Growth Strategy for Its Global Innovation Economy Business

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As a part of its ongoing commitment to the Innovation Economy (IE), J.P. Morgan announced today that John China will join the firm as Co-Head of IE for Commercial Banking (CB). Based in San Francisco, China will serve alongside New York-based Melissa Smith, who is continuing her dual role as Co-Head of IE and Head of Specialized Industries for CB.

Together, they will lead a team of more than 350 dedicated bankers, providing financial and advisory solutions to over 6,000 IE companies globally. Since 2016, CB has steadily built its IE business to support high-growth companies, startups, founders and venture capital (VC) firms across the Technology, Disruptive Commerce, Life Sciences, ClimateTech and Healthcare IT industries. The firm has also entered new markets, expanding its geographic footprint to collaborate with IE clients in the U.K., Ireland, Nordics, Germany, Australia, Israel and China.

“The founders and investors who make up the Innovation Economy are tackling some of the biggest issues facing our world today. They’re creating jobs, technology and opportunities that are uplifting communities and driving the global economy forward,” said John Simmons, Head of CB Middle Market Banking at J.P. Morgan. “We’re committed to supporting this critical segment, and John and Melissa’s industry expertise and extensive experience will provide coast-to-coast leadership during this pivotal time for our clients.”

China joins J.P. Morgan after 27 years at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), where he most recently served as President of SVB Capital and was responsible for the fund management business across VC, funds of funds and direct funds. He previously led SVB’s North America technology banking teams and the company’s corporate venturing group, early-stage banking services, global gateway program, credit solutioning group and corporate finance.

“I’m tremendously proud of the deep relationships we’ve built with our Innovation Economy clients,” said Melissa Smith, Co-Head of IE and Head of Specialized Industries for CB. “Recent market events have only strengthened our commitment to provide the bespoke services and solutions that founders, startups and investors need to thrive. I look forward to partnering with John to further accelerate our efforts to deliver for our clients.”

J.P. Morgan’s global capabilities and substantial investments to support companies—from startup to IPO and beyond—are driven by its comprehensive, firmwide approach. This includes payments, capital raising and financing, liquidity solutions and strategic advisory for portfolio companies; fund financing for VC firms; and a full suite of private banking and wealth management solutions tailored to VC partners and founders.

“J.P. Morgan’s ability to serve clients throughout every stage of their life cycle is a true differentiator in the marketplace,” said John China, Co-Head of IE for CB. “As companies scale and grow more sophisticated, their banking needs can quickly turn complex. I’m excited to partner with Melissa and double down on the team’s efforts to support companies as they build their businesses and leave their mark on the world.”

The firm continues to invest in its people, resources and capabilities to provide tailored solutions for the IE ecosystem. Recent investments include:

  • Establishment of a standalone IE Startup Banking business to serve early-stage companies

  • Expansion of our ClimateTech team to provide deep industry expertise to this rapidly growing IE sub-sector

  • Creation of a dedicated Sponsor ARR financing team to complement existing venture debt capabilities

  • Simplified digital banking experience and bundled payments offerings that are seamlessly integrated, with expedited onboarding

  • Digital capital raising and networking through the Capital Connect platform with analytics powered by Aumni

  • Cloud-based share plan management through Global Shares, an asset management solution for employee ownership

  • Access to world-class research and industry insights through the J.P. Morgan Markets platform

  • Holistic support for founders and partners through the Private Bank to complement their core illiquid exposure and unlock sources of liquidity

JPMorgan Chase’s recent acquisition of First Republic Bank further enhances its IE growth strategy, building on the firm’s relationships with founders and VCs in important markets like San Francisco and Boston.

Additionally, JPMorgan Chase is focused on helping to break down the barriers that have stagnated growth and opportunity for companies of all shapes and sizes, including diverse-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. In addition to the $30 billion Racial Equity Commitment, the firm continues to invest in initiatives like Project Spark to address the need for more diverse fund managers. JPMorgan Chase also works with organizations such as the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), Bunker Labs and StartOut to improve access to the resources, information, and networks that diverse business owners need to thrive.

For more information on J.P. Morgan’s commitment to serving the Innovation Economy, visit

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