Hong Kong Insurer FWD Hires Ex-Deutsche Bank Dealmaker as M&A Adviser

By Cathy Chan and | February 20, 2019

FWD Group, the insurer backed by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, has hired former Deutsche Bank AG dealmaker Tan Boon-Kee as senior adviser for mergers and acquisitions.

Tan, who will be based in Singapore, started in her new role at the acquisitive Asian insurer last week, a representative for FWD said in response to Bloomberg queries. Tan was Asia-Pacific head of Deutsche Bank’s financial institutions group.

FWD has been hiring executives as it expands in Asia’s fastest-growing economies. Last year, it named Arthur Lee executive vice president for new markets and corporate governance and appointed Ken Lau as Greater China managing director and chief executive officer for Hong Kong and Macau.

The group agreed in October to buy control of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Indonesian life insurance arm. In 2017, it bought American International Group Inc.’s Japanese life unit, after earlier making acquisitions in Singapore and Vietnam.

Backed by Swiss Re AG, FWD also has held preliminary discussions with investment banks about a possible IPO, people familiar with the matter said in June.

FWD, which manages more than $28 billion of assets, had over 3 million customers spread across eight Asian markets, according to its website. Li, the son of Hong Kong’s richest man, formed the company after spending $2.1 billion to buy ING Groep NV’s insurance and pension units in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand in 2013.

Tan stepped down from her role at Deutsche Bank in August, people familiar with the matter said earlier. She was earlier interviewed by Singapore authorities on her role in the multi-billion 1MDB scandal, the troubled Malaysian state fund where $4.5 billion was allegedly siphoned off. Tan was not accused of any wrongdoing, the people said at the time.

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