(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. hired Silicon Valley Bank veteran John China to co-lead the business of banking venture capitalists and startups, part of the firm’s growth strategy for the sector.

China, who will be based in San Francisco, spent almost three decades at Silicon Valley Bank, most recently as president of SVB Capital, according to a statement Tuesday. He will oversee the commercial bank’s innovation-economy team alongside Melissa Smith, who is also head of specialized industries. 

The hire underscores the biggest US bank’s efforts to fill the void created by Silicon Valley Bank’s failure in March. That firm dominated the tech industry, banking both venture capitalists and their portfolio companies. It unraveled in a matter of days as depositors — in some cases startups heeding the advice of their backers — yanked their money over balance-sheet concerns. 

Doug Petno, who oversees JPMorgan’s commercial bank, outlined the firm’s opportunity following the collapse of “a longstanding incumbent competitor” at the bank’s investor day in May, noting that his firm had added thousands of clients in the sector since the turmoil began. 

“We have a real opportunity to support this sector and fill a real market need,” Petno said. “To do that, we are going to accelerate our growth strategy and step up our investment, significantly expanding our support teams and bankers focused on startup banking, venture capital coverage, risk and early stage lending.”

JPMorgan launched its innovation-economy group in 2016, and it now has more than 350 bankers and over 6,000 clients. Its acquisition of San Francisco-based First Republic Bank following that bank’s collapse in May also boosted its growth strategy for the sector.

“Recent market events have only strengthened our commitment to provide the bespoke services and solutions that founders, startups and investors need to thrive,” Smith said in the statement.

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