Contact: Katrina Cavalli, 212.313.1181,

Washington, D.C., February 18, 2016 – The members of the Engage China coalition have agreed the Honorable Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. will take over as chairman. Mr. Bentsen is currently the president and CEO of SIFMA and the CEO of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA). From 1995 to 2003, he served as a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas, where he sat on the House Financial Services Committee (and its predecessor House Banking and Financial Services Committee), and separately on the House Budget Committee. Prior to his service in Congress, Mr. Bentsen was an investment banker at both a major Wall Street firm and a large regional firm, where he specialized in municipal and mortgage finance.

Engage China is a coalition of 12 financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement between the United States and China with an emphasis on continued financial sector reform in China. The Financial Services Forum, first under the leadership of Rob Nichols and then that of John Dearie, previously served as Chair of the coalition.

“It was an honor to chair the coalition during an historic period in our relationship with China.   Ken will be a superb chairman and I am pleased to see the baton being passed to such a well qualified, deeply respected and highly skilled industry leader,” said Rob Nichols, president and CEO of American Bankers Association, who served as the founding chairman of Engage China and led the coalition from 2006-2015.

“The Engage China coalition continues to promote the importance of the U.S.-China bilateral economic relationship.   Progress on financial modernization in China, including the negotiation of a high-standard U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), will strengthen the economic relationship between the U.S. and China to the benefit of both countries,” said Mr. Bentsen. “I would like to thank Rob Nichols, John Dearie and the team at the Financial Services Forum for their long and distinguished leadership of Engage China, and commend them for bringing the industry together to work towards a more balanced and mutually beneficial relationship between these two great nations.”

Trade between the U.S. and China is increasingly important to both countries and to the world economy. Over the past five years, U.S. exports to China have grown at seven times the pace of U.S. exports to the rest of the world. Continued financial sector reforms and expanded market access are needed to create more opportunity for the people of China and jobs for America.

Members of Engage China actively advocate for these reforms by hosting meetings, events, and activities for U.S. and Chinese policymakers, regulators, the media, and academic and business leaders.

Members of the coalition include: American Bankers Association, The American Council of Life Insurers, The American Insurance Association, BAFT, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, The Financial Services Forum, The Financial Services Roundtable, FIA, The Investment Company Institute, The Insured Retirement Institute, The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

More information on Engage China can be found here: