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In the months before March 2004, Carmen Chang was not just running one of the largest stock market IPOs of the year, for Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. of Shanghai. The Shearman & Sterling partner also had to avert an international incident between two enemy governments: China and Taiwan. Chang experienced the political furor firsthand one day in 2003. Her mother’s household assistant was phoning from Taiwan, where Chang grew up. The family friend was delivering a message from the country’s Ministry of Public Security: Please stop by the office for tea, to discuss her work for SMI. Chang demurred, but over a span of months the ministry contacted other citizens who had invested in the company. Those who went heard bureaucrats lecture about the virtues of investing in Taiwan. Many of the Taiwanese investors in SMI soon began cashing out. Carmen Chang had met the founder of SMI, Richard Chang (no relation), in 2001, less than a year after he started the company. She knew that he had been a prominent industry insider in the United States and Taiwan, where he was raised. He had sold a previous company to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd., which pioneered advanced chip manufacturing on the island. Then, moving to the mainland, Richard Chang convinced the city of Shanghai’s industrial development branch and Goldman Sachs to invest in the new venture. Over the next two years, Carmen Chang helped SMI obtain $1.6 billion from venture capitalists. In September 2003, when she moved to Shearman & Sterling, investors already were buzzing about SMI’s IPO because the company had become the top maker of chips in China, which is set to be the largest market for chips by 2010. Read the full dealmaker profile and the complete corporate scorecard by subscribing to The American Lawyer.

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