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​By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group®

Author of

June 2015

Alice Gao, Senior Vice President of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, discusses ICBC’s global reach, its U.S. lending program, and recent deals in the video.

Alice spoke with David Sudeck, a senior partner in the JMBM Global Hospitality Group®, as part of our video interview series on hotel finance and investment opportunities in 2015.

David Sudeck: We’re here at the Meet the Money® Conference 2015, which is the 25th Annual Hotel Investment Conference for JMBM. I’m sitting here with Alice Gao, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking with ICBC. Thank you for joining us. Nice to see you.

Alice Gao: Hi David, thank you for inviting me.

David Sudeck: Thank you, and thank you for the opportunity to work with you as well.

Alice Gao: Same here.

David Sudeck: It’s wonderful. So, how are you enjoying the conference so far?

Alice Gao: So far, very good. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve met a lot of people. The information I receive here is valuable.

David Sudeck: Yes.

Alice Gao: And the networking opportunities are invaluable.

Alice Gao of ICBC and David Sudeck of JMBM
Alice Gao of ICBC and David Sudeck of JMBM

David Sudeck: Thank you very much. I saw you speak on a panel earlier today, and you did a great job. So, tell me about that panel–I’m curious to hear what you thought about the panel, the topic, the audience.

Alice Gao: The panel and topic are very catered to the audience. It’s bread and butter about finance. And I think the audience comes to see where to meet the money, and what our sweet spot is. And I briefly introduced ICBC as a whole. ICBC, as you know, is the largest bank in the world…

David Sudeck: That is amazing.

Alice Gao: …by total asset size and market capitalization. As of 2014, we have total assets of over $3.2 trillion.

David Sudeck: Trillion.

Alice Gao: And we have about eighteen thousand branches global, covering over 40 countries so far.

David Sudeck: So you must be very busy.

Alice Gao: Yes, we’re very busy. But in the U.S., we started our operation a few years ago, and right now we have 15 locations, well-spread on the east coast and west coast to service customers’ needs.

David Sudeck: So what is your personal focus in terms of territory and product type?

Alice Gao: We do not have geographic restrictions. We can lend anything inside the United States. Outside of the United States we can refer to our parent bank, or affiliate bank in the ICBC network. But in the United States, we don’t have geographic restrictions. We can lend anything if the property is within the United States.

David Sudeck: So without disclosing anything confidential, of course, can you give us an idea of what type of loans you’ve funded recently, what you’ve recently closed?

Alice Gao: We recently closed a large hotel construction loan, and we are working on a bridge finance for stabilizing an apartment building in the Los Angeles area.

David Sudeck: Okay.

Alice Gao: And we are also funded a condo construction. Besides commercial real estate lending we mostly focus on trade finance. The bank has a full array of business products.

David Sudeck: Interesting.

Alice Gao: We have deposits, loans and most impressive, we have a global cash management and an international settlement. We do a lot of trade finance as well.

David Sudeck: Got it. Do you do any furniture, fixtures and equipment financing as well?

Alice Gao: We do have this product but last year we didn’t do any because we just don’t have the opportunity yet.

David Sudeck: Okay, we’ll have to change that.

Alice Gao: Yes.

David Sudeck: Bring you more opportunities. Is there anything else you’d like to focus on while you are here at the conference? Are you hoping to meet contacts? What’s your goal while you’re here?

Alice Gao: We certainly are very welcome and received by the audience and the participants. I was very busy. People tried to talk to me and talk about their deals so I have probably close to 50 business cards right now.

David Sudeck: Very impressive.

Alice Gao: And we’re going to follow-up next week. I think we will be really busy.

David Sudeck: That’s fantastic. Really appreciate it. Is there anything else you want to tell our audience?

Alice Gao: I think as ICBC launches in the U.S. market, we welcome all the opportunities. We are very flexible. We can work on your transactions and understand your needs, and help you to reach your goals.

David Sudeck: Thank you Alice!

Alice Gao: Thank you.

David Sudeck: We really appreciate your taking the time.

Alice Gao: Thank you David.

David Sudeck: Good to see you.

About Jim Butler

Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM, and the founder and chairman of JMBM's Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group™. He is recognized as one of the top hotel lawyers in the world and has authored or co-authored The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook, How to Buy a Hotel Handbook, and The Lenders Handbook. Jim has led the Global Hospitality Group® in more than $68 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 1,500 hotel properties located around the globe. Jim has more than 30 years of experience representing and advising Asian investors, with a particular emphasis on Chinese investors in the last five years given the dramatic increase of outbound investments by Chinese nationals and companies into the United States.+1-310-201-3526 or

Contact: Jim Butler / +1-310-201-3526

About JMBM

Our Perspective. We represent hotel owners, developers and investors. We have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $68 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,500 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or +1 (310) 201-3526.

Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM, and Chairman of its Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group™. Jim is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE "hotel lawyer" and you will see why. Jim and his team are more than "just" great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.

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