Ma steps down from HKEx listing committee

The Boyu Capital founder's decision comes as Alibaba's IPO remains undecided.

Mary Ma, co-founder and chairman of Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital and ex-TPG executive, has stepped down from her post at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange where she served on the main board and listing committees, according to a statement from the HKEx.

The move comes directly after Ma was appointed as non-executive chairman at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, according to an SFC statement. Ma replaces out-going non-executive director Hon Chan Kam-lam after six years of service.

Boyu Capital, the firm Ma started with ex-Ping An Insurance president Louis Cheung and former Providence Equity Partners managing director Sean Tong, is also an investor in the Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant owned by entrepreneur Jack Ma.

In September 2012, Boyu Capital, CITIC Capital and CBD Capital were among the Chinese private equity firms that helped Alibaba raise $7.6bn in a share buyback from Yahoo!, said to be the largest-ever non-LBO private financing for a technology company.

Alibaba has been involved in discussions with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as it tries to convince the regulator to bend its rules regarding a partnership structure that would allow the company’s senior management to control a majority of board nominations, something not permitted in Hong Kong-listed companies.

This week, media widely reported that Hong Kong is considering changing its stance, having previously turned down the Alibaba proposal, with a spokeswoman from the HKEx revealing that it is laying the groundwork for a potential public consultation on different shareholding structures.

However, it is unclear whether Alibaba will wait and pursue its listing in Hong Kong, which in July was valued by Goldman Sachs as about $105 billion.

The company has also been in discussions with US exchanges and in mid-October received approval from both the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange to list its shares under its unique partnership structure.

Boyu Capital did not respond to requests for comment.