Rupert Hoogewerf

China´s powerful families use so-called “bag men” to deal with their wealth. The disappeared billionaire Xiao Jianhua was such a bag man, according to China rich list producer Rupert Hoogewerf, including the family or president Xi Jinping to the Financial Times. Finding information on Xiao had been tough.

The Financial Times:

Mr Xiao Jianhua has long had strong connections with the families of Communist party leaders, but he was much more than a bagman by the time he was spirited back to mainland China by Beijing’s agents on the eve of the Chinese lunar New Year.

Living for the past few years in self-imposed exile at the luxurious Four Seasons hotel and apartment complex in Hong Kong, Mr Xiao had become one of China’s richest men, a multi-billionaire in dollar terms with investments focused on banks and insurance.

According to the Hurun Report, the young man who began his business career selling personal computers near his old university was worth US$6 billion (S$8.5 billion) by 2016.

Mr Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of the Hurun Report, said Mr Xiao had used his knowledge of capital markets and leverage to build a big empire. But, he said, it is extremely difficult to work out his wealth because he has “a myriad highly complex structures”.

“He’s considered to be extremely intelligent and extremely low-profile,” said Mr Hoogewerf. “Within investor circles, he’s pretty respected because he comes from Peking University so he’s not some hillbilly who’s gone into the business of capital markets.”

From his Four Seasons vantage point overlooking the busy harbour of Hong Kong, Mr Xiao held court attended by a bevy of female bodyguards, managed his business affairs and represented the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

More in the Financial Times.

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