Convoy Global chairman arrested by Hong Kong anti-corruption police: reports

Ridhima Sharma
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Quincy Wong Lee-man, chairman of Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed advisory firm Convoy Global Holdings,  has been arrested in a joint operation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Securities and Futures Commission officials,  according to media reports out of Hong Kong. 

Wong was arrested at Hong Kong International Airport on his return from holiday, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday, in what was described as the latest development in an ongoing and widening investigation.

As reported here last week,  three senior executives were  arrested in connection with the investigation, which observers in Hong Kong have said is part of a clampdown on corruption that is seen as a key policy of Chinese president Xi Jinping. The earlier arrests made were deputy chairwoman and executive director of financial advisers, Rosetta Fong Sut-Sam, and executive director Christie Chan Lai-yee, the SCMP reported, citing a Convoy announcement to the local bourse.

Convoy said it had suspended the duties of all three executives, without giving further details, the SCMP reported.

In its report, the SCMP noted that the ICAC’s arrests on Thursday “included a former Convoy chief executive and current chairman of Lerado Financial Group, Mark Mak Kwong-yiu”, adding that Lerado was among a number of companies “already facing enforcement action by the SFC”, and that a “source familiar with the investigation” said the arrest was related to the ICAC’s actions with respect to Convoy.

New appointments
Following the arrest, Convoy announced the appointment of six new directors on Sunday. The appointments include veteran accountant Johnny Chen as interim chairman and five executive directors, the SCMP said.

Convoy Global is said to be Hong Kong’s largest wealth manager, and mainly looks after local Hong Kong residents. It has undergone some difficulties in recent years as a result, it has said, of “regulatory changes in [the] ILAS [investment-linked assurance schemes]” market. These changes were said to have contributed to its loss of HK$467.26m (US$60.25m, £48.4m) in the year to the end of 2015, compared with a net profit the previous year of HK$246.17m (US$31.74m, £25.51m).

Last year, as reported, it paid £24m (US$30.2m, €27.8m) to acquire a stake in the UK-based Nutmeg investment platform, as part of what was said at the time to have been the largest-ever round of funding by a digital wealth manager in Europe and the largest fintech raise since Brexit.

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