Fri, Jun 14, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Chailease chairman steps down to step business up

‘ UNPRECEDENTED’:Andre Koo said the move broke with tradition since most Taiwanese executives tend to keep their posts well into their 60s or 70s

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chailease Holding Co (中租控股), the nation’s top leasing services provider, yesterday approved the resignation of chairman Andre Koo (辜仲立), giving him more room to pull the strings in a wider range of business interests in the finance, property and hospitality sectors.

Andre Koo, the youngest son of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co’s (中信金) founder Jeffrey Koo Sr (辜濂松), briefed the media on the move after Chailease shares closed down 5.7 percent at NT$81.1 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which dropped by 2.03 percent.

“It is time I vacate the chairmanship to give the other Chailease [Holding] executives more room to steer the company,” the 45-year-old Andre Koo said, calling the move “unprecedented” since Taiwanese businesspeople tend to hold on to top management positions until their 60s or 70s, or beyond.

Andre Koo will remain on the board and act as commander-in-chief of Chailese and another firm, Grand Pacific Investment & Development Holding Co (中時控股).

Under the reshuffle, Chailese president Albert Chen (陳鳳龍) will assume the firm’s chairmanship and John Huang (黃炳彰) will head Grand Pacific, Andre Koo said.

“The two firms will seek to grow larger and stronger, and I will dedicate equal attention to both,” Andre Koo said.

Chailease Holding plans to set up a representative office in Moscow by year’s end and open a branch in the Russian capital next year as the country’s market poses a vast business potential similar to China’s, in spite of the language barrier, he said.

Many small and medium-sized companies in Russia have difficulty meeting demand for loans and Chailease Holding aims to fill this need, Chailease spokesman Kevin Liao (廖英智) said.

The company is also planning to add three to four new outlets a year to its service network in China, whose market is so large that many areas of it remain underserved or untapped, Liao said.

Meanwhile, Grand Pacific, which owns the Park City Hotel chain (成旅晶贊), plans to open a large restaurant in Luzhou (蘆洲), New Taipei City (新北市), next month and is searching for locations for new hotels, Huang said.

The company is responsible for constructing and decorating Chailease’s headquarters in Shanghai, China, Huang added.

Andre Koo said he hoped to have Grand Pacific listed on the local bourse and Chailease International Finance Co (仲利國際), a subsidiary of Chailease Holding in Shanghai, listed in China, in the next five years.

“As the reshuffle continues, I will be busier than ever,” he said.

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