By Stella Yifan Xie
HONG KONG--Ant Group Co. has reconstituted its board of directors, adding five individuals and removing three others, as the Chinese financial-technology company moves closer to its initial public offerings in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The Hangzhou-based company's business registration records were updated on August 21 to include three new independent directors as well as two senior executives of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which owns a 33% stake in Ant.
Cheng Li, Alibaba's chief technology officer, and Jiang Fang, Alibaba's chief people officer were appointed as non-executive directors at Ant. Mr. Cheng was previously Ant's chief technology officer.
Fred Hu, founder and chairman of Primavera Capital Group, a private-equity firm that was an early investor in Ant, was appointed as an independent and non-executive director of the company. The other two independent directors are Huang Yiping, a Peking University professor and a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China, and Hao Quan, a former partner at KPMG China.
Three former Ant directors were no longer listed in the records. They included Lucy Peng, the company's former executive chairman, Alibaba's chief executive Daniel Zhang, and Alibaba's chief financial officer Maggie Wu.
Ant's board now has nine members, six of whom are executives at Ant or Alibaba. The board includes Ant's executive chairman Eric Jing, CEO Simon Hu, current CTO Ni Xingjun, and Alibaba's executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai. Mr. Ni was added to the board in July.
Ant, the world's most valuable financial-technology startup, last month said it was preparing for concurrent IPOs on Hong Kong's stock exchange and Shanghai's Nasdaq-style STAR Market. The company was valued at $150 billion in mid-2018 following a $14 billion fundraising round that drew investments from domestic and global investors. China's securities regulator last Friday accepted Ant's application for an offshore listing, according to its website, paving the way for Ant to proceed with its Hong Kong listing plans.
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