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The big idea: James Bowman of Coopertree Investment Partners is asked to deposit $800,000 into a bank account in hopes of arranging a meeting with a coveted investor in China. The payoff could potentially be huge for the firm, but how does Bowman know he won’t be taken advantage of?

The scenario: Bowman was a founding partner at Coopertree Investment Partners, a New York private-equity fund, whose clients were primarily U.S.-based. Eager to invest in China and knowing that the Coopertree model would appeal to Chinese investors looking to diversify their holdings, Bowman and his colleagues had identified China Investment Corp. as the best firm to approach. Owned by the People’s Republic of China and headquartered in Beijing, CIC oversaw more than $400 billion in assets and employed almost 500 people. CIC was notoriously private. You could not pick up the phone to make an appointment with its investment professionals. Instead, you had to be introduced.

Read the rest of Andrew Wicks’ Washington Post article here

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