Tue, Nov 28, 2000 - Page 17 News List

Quayle looking to land local business

FINANCE In an effort to establish an asset management company on Taiwan soil, Cerberus Capital has sent a high-profile representative in the former US vice president

By Tsering Namgyal and Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Minister of Finance Yen Ching-chang, right, appears to be checking the personal assets of former US vice president Dan Quayle after a meeting yesterday. Quayle is in Taiwan seeking business opportunities for a company he represents.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Former US vice president Dan Quayle is visiting Taiwan as a consultant to Cerberus Capital Management, an investment firm interested in setting up an asset management company locally.

Quayle met Minister of Finance Yen Ching-chang (顏慶章) yesterday morning. The former US vice president was accompanied by Frank Bruno, president of Cerberus Capital's Asia Pacific operations.

"Because Quayle is currently involved ... in an asset management corporation, he took the opportunity to understand regulations [regarding such companies] in our financial institutions merger law," Yen said shortly after an hour-long closed-door meeting.

According to Yen, Bruno had expressed interest in setting up an asset management company in Taiwan sometime in the near future.

The government is wooing international investment banks to set up asset management companies in joint venture with domestic firms to help clean up the nation's higher number of non-performing loans.

The Financial Institutions Merger Law, which was passed last Friday, is expected to aid the financial sector's restructuring.

Leading banks are seen as interested in coming to Taiwan to set up asset management corporations.

Quayle, however, declined to comment on the exact nature of his visit. The main purpose of this visit, he said, was to "see some friends in Taiwan and to have some good conversations with the president this afternoon."

Quayle met with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and officials at the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday.

He also met with the leaders of Shinkong Group yesterday and is expected to meet with the representatives of the Koo's Group and KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) tomorrow.

Stanley Kao (高碩泰), deputy director general of the department of North American affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which arranged the visit, said Quayle will be joined by another advisor to the firm, academic Karl Jackson.

Jackson is director of Asian Studies at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University.

While Quayle is not expected to take up a government post, his influence may grow if George W. Bush wins the final vote tally in Florida. Quayle, 53, served as US vice president under former president George Bush from 1989 to 1992. The Bush-Quayle team lost their re-election bid in 1992 to the current Clinton-Gore administration.

Meanwhile, Quayle declined to make any specific comments on the US election. "I am not here talk about the support of recount, but to learn more about Taiwan," he said.

"I am delighted to be back here by my fourth visit of Taiwan, obviously at a rather historic time when the American presidency was still somewhat in limbo."

Quayle, however, said there is "no crisis" in the system. "We have a president, Bill Clinton, and we'll get on with the nation's business in due course."

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