Report: CIC appoints new chairman

After months of speculation as to who will head the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, CIC is said to have selected Xuedong Ding to fill the role.

The $500 billion sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation has appointed Xuedong Ding as chairman of the organisation, according to a Reuters report citing sources close to the situation.

An internal announcement had been made in early July confirming Ding’s leadership, the report said. 

CIC did not respond to requests for comment. 

Currently a vice secretary general of China’s cabinet and formerly vice finance minister, Ding replaces Jiwei Lou, who left CIC in March to become finance minister. 

Since then, a number of candidates have been rumoured to be Lou’s successor. In May, Chinese local media reported that vice-mayor of Shanghai, Guang Shao Tu, had been elected to fill the position, although CIC never confirmed the speculation. 

CIC has had a high level of turnover in recent years. In particular, its private equity team has seen a number of people leave, with few members of the original employees remaining today. 

Daniel Hu, a director with the private equity team at CIC, resigned from the organisation in May last year, shortly after the firm had lost its head of European private equity, Colin Lau, in April 2012. Lau had been in the position for just five months, having left his previous position as global head of real estate. 

Nevertheless, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund seems to maintain a bullish outlook on private equity. Linbo He, head of private equity at CIC, told delegates at the HKVCA China Summit in June that a tough fundraising environment for private equity globally has created a better investment environment for private equity. 

While emphasising that his comments were his own personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of CIC, he explained that over the past 20 years, during periods when fundraising was flat, private equity performed well, while during bullish fundraising periods, such as 2004 to 2008, private equity performance was “very bad”.  

“If past history has taught us something about the future, [it is that] we should have more confidence in investing in private equity right now,” he said.