Qatari Fund M&A Head Cho Joins Asian Capital Holdings as CEO

  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board's Peter Chen named CFO
  • Cho will be paid a basic salary of $1.8 million per year

Hong Kong corporate advisory firm Asian Capital Holdings Ltd. hired Michael Cho, the former mergers and acquisitions head at sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, as its new chief executive officer.

The company also appointed Peter Chen, most recently at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, as chief financial officer as part of its plans to bolster its services and expand globally, Asian Capital said in a Hong Kong exchange filing. The appointments are effective immediately, according to the filing.

Cho will be paid a basic salary of $1.8 million per year along with other benefits including a housing allowance of HK$130,000 ($16,755) a month, as well as participation in bonus and stock incentive schemes.

Asian Capital, which advises on M&A and debt restructuring, last year announced a deal for Beijing-based investment firm Zhongzhi Capital to buy a controlling stake. Asian Capital plans to boost its services in Hong Kong and explore the possibility of further expansion to other markets, according to its website.

Cho, who also previously worked at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit for more than 18 years, joined the Qatari wealth fund in 2013. The 47-year-old executive was instrumental in expanding the firm’s investments into new markets including Asia, leading deals such as last year’s acquisition of a $1.2 billion stake in Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s electric utility. 

He also worked on QIA’s purchase of a minority holding in Hong Kong department store operator Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd. and its investment in India’s domestic e-commerce leader, Flipkart Pvt.

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