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Awards for Excellence 2015: Outstanding contribution to global financial services

In 15 years, Jiang Jianqing has taken ICBC from technical bankruptcy to the world’s most profitable bank.

Outstanding contribution to global financial services:

Jiang Jianqing, chairman, ICBC


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How many bank leaders in the world can make the following claims: that they have run their institution for 15 years, generating an average annual growth rate in net profits of almost 30% and that net profit, which in 2014 stood at a staggering $44.53 billion, makes it the most profitable institution in the world; that they have built, from scratch, an overseas business, that would in its own right, based on profitability, be one of the top 100 banks in the world; and all of this at a bank that was virtually bankrupt when they became chairman.

The story of Jiang Jianqing is remarkable whichever way you look at it. He didn’t even become a banker until he was 30 years old. Before that, like almost every smart Chinese youth at the age of 17, he had to take part in labour education during the Cultural Revolution, working in the fields of Jianqxi province for six years, and three years in the coal mines of Henan.