Caixin
Jan 21, 2021 07:01 AM
FINANCE

Exclusive: Sovereign Wealth Fund Executive to Become Chairman of Major Insurance Firm

Central Huijin Investment Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CIC, owns a 38% stake in NCI.
Central Huijin Investment Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CIC, owns a 38% stake in NCI.

New China Life Insurance Co. (NCI) Chairman Liu Haoling will resign for work-related reasons, the company said Wednesday. Another executive from the company’s largest shareholder might replace him, sources told Caixin.

Liu was appointed by China Investment Corp. (CIC) as deputy general manager and chief risk officer in December. Central Huijin Investment Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CIC, owns a 38% stake in NCI.

The news came one day after NCI announced it plans to appoint Xu Zhibin as nonexecutive director. Xu was formerly general manager of CIC’s brokerage subsidiary Shenhong Wanyuan. In December, he was appointed deputy general manager of Central Huijin Investment. He also serves as director of equity management at Central Huijin, the same position Liu took before he left for NCI.

Xu may replace Liu as the new chairman, Caixin learned from a source. Normally the chairman is selected from current members of the company’s board, a person close to New China Life told Caixin. The Shanghai and Hong Kong-listed insurer’s daily operations are run by Chief Executive Officer Li Quan. A change of chairman has minimal impact on the company’s daily operations, the person said.

Xu, 46, has master’s degrees from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge. He joined Shenhong Wanyuan in 2013. Before that, he worked at Goldman Sachs and China Jianyin Investment Co. Ltd.

Founded in 1996, Beijing-based NCI is one of China’s biggest insurance companies — a field dominated by big state-run enterprises. It provides personal and group life insurance, as well as wealth management services. By the end of September last year, the Shanghai- and Hong Kong-listed company had total assets of 939.3 billion yuan ($145 billion). It collected 134.4 billion yuan in insurance premiums in the first nine months of last year.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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