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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy meets with JPMorgan’s Dimon in Davos in another pitch for economic aid

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon hosted a meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday afternoon in Davos, Switzerland, as both attended the World Economic Forum.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to implore some of the world’s top financial executives to invest in his worn-torn country, and this time he's starting at the top of the banking food chain: JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon.

Dimon, the chief executive of the nation's largest bank, hosted a meeting with Zelenskyy on Tuesday afternoon in Davos, Switzerland, as both attended the World Economic Forum, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The confab of bankers, investors and globalists meet annually in the Swiss ski resort town to think big thoughts and try to solve the world's problems.

At issue Tuesday afternoon Davos time: How to get investment money into the war-torn country, which has seen its economy ravaged amid a two-year stalemate to fight off Russian aggression.

Other meeting attendees included David Rubinstein of the private equity firm Carlyle Group; billionaire entrepreneur Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies; Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund; Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity fund; and Philipp Hildebrand, representing BlackRock, the world's largest money manager.

Dimon was accompanied by Mary Erdoes, who runs JPMorgan’s asset-management unit. The White House was represented by Penny Pritzker, of the super-wealthy Pritzker family and a major Democratic Party donor. Pritzker is serving as the Biden administration's special representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery.

FOX Business first reported the news on X.

This isn't the first time Zelenskyy has made an investment pitch to financial leaders; last September, FOX Business first reported that JPMorgan convened a fundraising meeting in New York City that included top Wall Street executives and investors who heard Zelenskyy's money pitch. A year ago, JPMorgan bankers including Vince La Padula, CEO of the firm’s wealth solutions unit, were in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, surveying the war’s economic damage. Private investment in Ukraine is seen as increasingly vital, as the billions of dollars in federal money flowing to the country since the Russian invasion has become a hot-button political issue. Many Republicans see it as a drain on federal resources. 

Tuesday's sit down in Davos is the first time Dimon, considered the world's most important banker, met face-to-face with the Ukraine president. JPMorgan and BlackRock serve as his country's financial advisers and are plotting a course to attract investment dollars as the second anniversary of the Russian invasion approaches with no end in sight to the fighting. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is said to have an ongoing dialogue with Zelenskyy.

The efforts to attract investable dollars to Ukraine have met with mixed results. Wall Street private equity and asset managers see promise in the country's economy: a resilient population that is highly educated. Yet they have made no large-scale money commitments because the war continues to drag on, making any investment risky. Sources say the Kraft family, the billionaire owners of the New England Patriots football team, are interested in investing in paper packaging plants in the country. The Krafts made their initial fortune in the paper packaging industry. A representative for the Kraft family had no immediate comment.

In speaking with the bankers Tuesday, Zelenskyy stressed, as he did in past meetings, that the country's economy is healing. He said inflation remains largely under control at around 6%; it ran as high as nearly 30% in 2022. He said the economy is growing, and he plans a spring opening of the economically important Kyiv airport, which has been closed since the fighting began.

War has been a major impediment to receiving money from Wall Street, and Zelenskyy suggested he might be open to what was described by one person close to the matter as "a peace summit with many countries." It is unclear if he would meet with his chief nemesis, Russian President Vladimir Putin, to cut a deal to end the fighting.

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