Aug 16, 2013 01:37 PM

Breaking the Mold


Xiang Junbo

The 56-year-old Xiang Junbo is not your typical suit-and-tie financial regulator. The head of China's 8 billion yuan insurance industry likes to wear something simple and plain, while his experience is anything but.

He was a soldier in the war China fought with Vietnam in 1979 and later a screenwriter for TV soap operas. He worked as auditor for 20 years before becoming an official at China's central bank branch in Shanghai. His last job was as chairman of Agricultural Bank of China (ABC). During his tenure, ABC finished a restructuring and listed in Hong Kong in 2010. When news came in October 2011 that he had been appointed head of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), many people, including Xiang himself, were surprised.

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