HK's Convoy rejigs management as it adapts to market changes

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Convoy Global Holdings, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed advisory group that has been in the spotlight in recent months after it was reported to have been the focus of a joint regulatory investigation into fraud allegations, has announced three senior appointments.

In a statement, the company said the appointments were part of a refocusing of the business model, in order to make it better able to accommodate the new realities of the marketplace.

These three new professionals will, Convoy group president Ng Wing Fa explained in a statement accompanying the news of the appointments, “support our management team to refocus [Convoy’s] business on key growth streams in financial advisory, products manufacturing and fintech”.

The first new hiree named by Convoy is Aldonza Lam, who has been appointed group chief financial officer. She will, Ng said, “seamlessly take over” responsibilities most recently handled by Eva Ip, acting chief financial officer, who joined Convoy in December on a temporary basis with what he noted was “the critical mission” of holding the fort in order to stabilise Convoy’s financial and accounting operations “during a turbulent period”.

Ng paid tribute to Ip by noting that during her brief time at Convoy, she had “made major decisions and transformative improvements to bring everything back on track”.

For her part, Lam has had more than 20 years of senior management experience with the finance department of a number of major banks, Convoy said. One of these was Cong Hing Bank.

In Convoy’s products and strategy division, meanwhile, Bonita Leong was named group chief product and strategy officer. Convoy didn’t say who she replaces.

An actuary by practice, Leong brings to her new Convoy role “decades” of experience in products and strategy in Hong Kong and Asia, where she worked for a number of international insurance companies, the names of which weren’t given.

At Convoy, she will “help redefine the overall strategy and execution plans of the new business function” for the company’s independent financial advisory business.

Last of the three new Convoy appointees is Alvin Lau, who has been named chief financial officer-cum-chief operating officer of Convoy Financial Services Ltd, the company’s brokerage subsidiary.

Convoy didn’t say who Lau succeeds, or where he worked previously. At Convoy, he will be oversee a strengthening of “the long-term competitiveness” of Convoy’s IFA business.

Separately, Convoy said, it is also setting up a task force that will look to upgrade the company’s IT/technology and operations workflow.

Ng said, “Their joining does not only make our team stronger. It is also tantamount to an endorsement of our efforts to turn the Company around, as well as a vote on our thriving development ahead.”

Court date pushed back to September

As reported, a hearing involving more than 27 defendants in a lawsuit involving Convoy, which was originally scheduled to take place earlier this month, was pushed back to September, in order, press reports said at the time, to make it possible to add at least one more defendant’s name.

The hearing was said to concern a lawsuit described as one of three involving Convoy Global,  two of which had been brought by shareholders and one by Convoy itself against certain former directors.

Convoy, which mainly looks after local Hong Kong residents, has, like many advisory firms in Hong Kong, been under some pressure over the past two years as a result of regulatory changes that have transformed the advisory market.

Last November it announced that it was acquiring a £24m stake in the UK-based Nutmeg investment platform, as part of its efforts to revamp its business model to suit its changing market.