Deutsche Bank Sues Former China Head Lee for $6.3 Million

Lee Zhang, a former China head of Deutsche Bank AG, was sued in Hong Kong by the firm over the 2001 transfer of $3.99 million to the account of a company with a bank in Shenzhen.

The bank asked Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance on Aug. 8 to find that Zhang breached his fiduciary duty by causing the transfer to Harperskille Ltd.’s account with China Merchants Bank, and for damages including the principal amount and interest of $2.3 million.

Zhang, who left the Frankfurt-based bank in 2010 to join Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., didn’t immediately respond to a call requesting comment. The banker, whose Chinese name is Zhang Hong Li, had risen to be Deutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific head of global banking and China chairman after working for almost a decade at the bank.

Michael West, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Deutsche Bank, declined to comment, as did a press officer for ICBC in Beijing.

Zhang joined Deutsche Bank from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in February 2001 as head of its China corporate finance business. He was promoted to China chairman in September 2003 and Asia co-head of global banking the following year.

The case is Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong Branch v Zhang Hong Li, HCCL19/2014 in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance.

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