About three months after filing an application to list its Xintiandi division on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shui On Land has announced two senior appointments with Jessica Ying Wang stepping up as the company’s executive director and chief executive officer, while Allan Bin Zhang assumed the CEO role for Shui On Xintiandi. Both appointments became effective on 1 January 2022, the company said in a press release.
“Both Jessica and Allan have decades of industry experience and I believe that their proven track record of success, coupled with their expanded roles, will enable them to strengthen the management leadership team, capture more market opportunities as well as accelerate the group’s ambitions and future growth,” said Stephanie Lo Bo-yue, executive director of Shui On Land and daughter of Shui On Group chairman Vincent Lo.
Shui On made the senior-level moves following its rebound from a pandemic-ridden year, with the Shanghai-based builder posting RMB 11.9 billion ($1.8 billion) in revenue in the first half of 2021, which was a 726 percent year-on-year increase, according to its interim report.
Just two weeks ago, while cash-strapped mainland developers pulled back from government land sales, Shui On Land in a 50-50 joint venture with state-owned Wuhan Real Estate purchased three residential parcels in Wuhan’s Wuchang district for RMB 17 billion.
Shui On Veterans Move Up
During nearly 24 years at Shui On Group, Wang has primarily overseen the group’s business and project development functions, including land acquisitions and new property investment activities. Most recently, she had served as managing director for project development and asset management at Shui On Management Limited.
Now as the developer’s top executive and a member of its board, the 47-year-old Wang is responsible for the overall management of Shui On Land, and the strategic growth of its development portfolio. In her new role, Wang, who joined Shui On in 1997, will be paid RMB 11.6 million a year and is entitled to a bonus that is to be determined by individual performance, according to the announcement.
Zhang, also a Shui On veteran, joined the group in 2004 and is currently on the board of the group’s Shui On Management and Shui On Xintiandi units, and had served until recently as head of commercial asset management for Shui On Land.
Prior to his recent promotion, Zhang led the development and community building for Wuhan Tiandi and KIC in Shanghai, and with almost two decades of experience in the real estate sector, he now leads the operations and management of Shui On Xintiandi, as well as the expansion of the group’s commercial assets in China.
Shui On Group has turned once again to company veterans to take top roles just over two years after appointing Freddy Lee Chun-kong as executive director and chief executive officer for SOCAM, the group’s property development arm.
Before joining SOCAM, Lee helped steer Shui On Land as CEO until his abrupt resignation from the position in 2014, when the company was struggling to sell off assets and restructure its finances. He then took a five-year hiatus from the group, before returning as executive director and CEO of SOCAM in October of 2019.
Before naming Wang CEO last week, Shui On’s top executive responsibilities were handled by the executive committee of the company, with Lo having “resumed a more active role in steering the business and to leverage his experience to guide the EXCOM at a strategic level”, following Lee’s resignation seven years ago, according to its interim report immediately following that earlier management move.
Shui On, now recovering from a reduction in rental income following sales of some of its most most valuable commercial projects and downward revaluation of its investment properties in 2020, recorded profit attributable to shareholders for the first half of 2021 of RMB 1.08 billion, compared with a loss of RMB 1.62 billion in the same period of 2020.
Should its application to list its Xintiandi unit on the Hong Kong stock exchange be approved, proceeds of the IPO would also provide Shui On with capital to replenish its land bank while keeping its gearing within a healthy range, the company said in a press release at the time.