Hong Kong's Convoy Global latest sees executive director Tan Ye Kai resign

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Tan Ye Kai has resigned from his post as executive director of  Hong Kong’s Convoy Global Holdings, and Ip Yee Kwan has been named an executive director, as a complex, ongoing boardroom battle at the listed financial advisory firm continued on Tuesday.

Tan – who is also known as Byron, according to a Bloomberg corporate profile – said in a letter that he was resigning because he “has [a] disagreement with the [company’s] board of directors” on such matters as its termination of senior executives and responsible officers of CSL Securities Ltd on 5 January, and its initiation of legal action against certain directors and employees in the group, “including Mr Tan himself”, a statement on the company’s website says.

Apart from these issues, “there is no matter in connection with the resignation of Mr Tan that needs
to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the company or the [Hong Kong] Stock Exchange”,  where Convoy Global’s shares are traded, the statement adds.

Tan has been in his role at Convoy since February 2015, according to Bloomberg, which noted that he is an Australia-trained Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.

As reported, the Convoy Global saga was kicked off in early December, when two senior Convoy executives were among three representatives of companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange arrested in an ongoing clampdown on corruption in the Special Administrative Region of China, as part of a joint operation by the Securities and Futures Commission and Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption.

According to the South China Morning Post – one of several Hong Kong publications to cover the Convoy matter in recent weeks – a “struggle for control and clean-up” of “one of the city’s largest financial advisory firms” lies at the heart of the Convoy saga. It is estimated that Convoy has as many as 100,000 customers, including the Mandatory Provident Fund.

Towards the end of the month, the SCMP reported that Convoy had “filed a second lawsuit in a week against two company insiders, ratcheting up a series of legal actions to recover billions of dollars of [allegedly] stolen assets”.

A few days later, Kwok Hiu-kwan, described as a businessman who owns 4.47 billion shares of Convoy, or a 29.91% stake in the advisory firm, issued a statement criticising a decision made by the company’s chairman, Johnny Chen Chi-wang, two days earlier, at a shareholders’ meeting, “to invalidate Kwok’s shares in a vote on Kwok’s motion to remove six existing directors and appoint three he nominated”, the SCMP reported. 

Further salvos came from Convoy in the following days, most of which may be viewed in the Investor Relations Announcements section of the company’s website, which included a response to Kwok’s claims about his shareholding (“the company is currently seeking legal advice in respect of the petition”)  and assurances that the company would “keep the shareholders and potential investors informed of any further material development by way of announcement[s] as and when appropriate”.