SVB Capital Veteran John China Joins JPMorgan Innovation Economy


J.P. Morgan has added former SVB Capital President John China to its Innovation Economy (IE) business.

China will serve alongside Melissa Smith as co-head of IE for Commercial Banking (CB), J.P. Morgan said in a Tuesday (July 11) press release emailed to PYMNTS.

Smith is continuing her dual role as co-head of IE and head of specialized industries for CB, according to the release.

J.P. Morgan’s IE business supports high-growth companies, startups, founders and venture capital (VC) firms in technology, disruptive commerce, life sciences, ClimateTech and healthcare IT, the release said.

“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,” John Simmons, head of CB middle market banking at J.P. Morgan, said in the release.

China was with Silicon Valley Bank for 27 years. Before serving as president of SVB Capital, which was his most recent role at the firm, he led SVB’s North America technology banking teams and its corporate venturing group, according to the release.

Together, China and Smith will lead a team of more than 350 bankers in J.P. Morgan’s IE business who support more than 6,000 IE companies around the world, the release said.

“Recent market events have only strengthened our commitment to provide the bespoke services and solutions that founders, startups and investors need to thrive,” Smith said in the release. “I look forward to partnering with John to further accelerate our efforts to deliver for our clients.”

China said in the release: “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 news comes at a time when startups are reportedly feeling the effects of a tougher fundraising environment, as venture investors, bank loans and initial public offerings (IPOs) have become more difficult for them to attain.

The environment is different from that of 2021, when the wide availability of potential investors and pandemic-era government funding kept afloat startups that are now having to make tough decisions.