Top five mainland developer China Vanke has named Zhu Jiusheng as its president and chief executive officer, taking over the roles from chairman Yu Liang. The move was unanimously approved by Vanke’s board, according to a filing by the Hong Kong-listed firm.
Yu, who will continue to serve as chairman, has led the top-three Chinese developer since last June, when Vanke founder Wang Shi stepped down, and has since assumed multiple roles as chairman, CEO and president.
Zhu has served as chairman of the group’s financial-services arm Shenzhen Vanke Financial Consultancy since 2014, after joining Vanke as senior vice president in 2012. The former banking executive led the design and launch of Penghua Qianhai Vanke REIT, the nation’s first publicly offered REIT-like product, in July 2015.
Banking Veteran Takes the Reins
Prior to joining Vanke, Zhu, who is 49, worked at China Construction Bank for 19 years, rising to deputy president of the lender’s Futian branch in Shenzhen. Zhu currently holds non-executive director roles at Vanke-backed firms Huisheng Bank Corporation and LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Company, and has also served as chairman of Vanke affiliate Shenzhen Pengding Chuangying Financial Information Services Co.
Zhu “has shown excellent business and management skills since he joined Vanke,” commented chairman Yu in a statement. “He is very good at inspiring teams to become creative and innovative.”
Yu said he would focus on developing Vanke’s business strategy and enhancing corporate governance as chairman, according to a media account. “I have been thinking over the past half year about not taking multiple roles,” he said.
Top Home Builder Enters New Era
Vanke was China’s third-largest developer by contracted sales in 2017, with sales surging 88 percent year-on-year to RMB 581 billion ($89.3 billion). Wang’s resignation last year followed a protracted hostile takeover attempt by financial conglomerate Baoneng.
The battle for boardroom power ended in June, when Vanke announced a deal with Shenzhen Metro Group to swap development sites for shares. Through the RMB 45.6 billion ($6.9 billion) deal, the government-owned utility took a 29 percent stake in Vanke, becoming the firm’s largest single shareholder.
Founded as a residential builder in 1984, Vanke has in recent years branched out into property management, senior care facilities, malls, logistics, and other areas. The group’s commercial property platform SCP Group (SCPG) last month agreed to buy a portfolio of 20 mainland shopping malls from Singapore’s CapitaLand for RMB 8.37 billion ($1.3 billion).