In an apparent bid to regain a foothold in the local market, ICEA Capital is understood to have completed a reshuffle of its senior management, hiring two new bosses with a background in commercial banking. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)-controlled investment bank ran into trouble over its role in the Euro-Asia Agricultural (Holdings) listing debacle but in January reached a $30 million settlement on the case with the Securities and Futures Commission without admitting any wrongdoing or having any liability. An overhaul of top management was completed last week in a shake-up that provided the firm with the capability to resume capital markets activity, according to sources close to the firm. In the aftermath of the cash settlement, ICEA chief executive Zhang Xiaoming left the firm at the end of January to join Bank of Communications and was replaced by Zhang Kexin in March. Deputy chief executive Yu Hong remains with the firm but is understood to be spending most of his time overseeing the merger of the mainland giant's local commercial banking operation, ICBC Asia, and the local operations of Fortis Bank. An additional deputy chief executive, Feng Shenjiang, was hired in January. Chief financial officer An Liyan was said to have left the firm on June 10 and was replaced by Nie Changwen. Sources said that the frontline staff that oversaw the Euro-Asia due diligence - associate director William Ip Wai-lun and manager Michael Lam Ting-lok - left the firm in October last year. Former chief executive Meocre Li Kwok-wing, the only senior investment banker at the firm, left in March 2002, while director Steven Chen Man-fai resigned in September 2001. The new bosses come from a commercial-banking rather than investment banking background, reflecting the dominant culture at China's largest bank. 'ICEA is an investment bank but then it is always run by the commercial bank experts,' one source said. ICEA is 75 per cent controlled by ICBC with Bank of East Asia holding the remaining 25 per cent. Another source said ICEA was resolved to building an investment-banking capability reflecting its status as the country's largest bank lender. It could again become a sponsor for mainland company offerings and would be one of the sponsors for ICBC's eventual international offering, the source said. The new ICEA operation is to move from its Jardine House location to ICBC tower, which houses all subsidiaries of the mainland lender, in a move it hopes will reinforce its close relationship with its parent firm. Since Euro-Asia was liquidated in July 2003 ICEA has handled only a small number of initial public offerings. The company declined to comment for this article.