Former UOB exec sets up new asset management firm

The Singapore-based JV will initially focus on the healthcare sector in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and Australia.

New Silkroutes Group, a Singapore-listed investment holding company, has teamed up with three partners to raise private equity funds that will invest in healthcare and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. 

New Silkroutes Asset Management, the Singapore-incorporated joint venture, is 30 percent-owned by New Silkroutes Group, with another 30 percent held by Chinese conglomerate Nanshan Group. Terence Ong Sea Eng, former executive of United Overseas Bank, has a 30 percent stake in the entity. Strategy advisory firm Fuji Capital owns the remainder. 

The new firm, which is awaiting a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, will initially target healthcare deals in the region, according to a statement. New Silkroutes Group has recently strived to expand its footprint in the sector, notably through the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Singapore-based Healthsciences International for S$2.17 million last month. 

The group expects the rise of Asia’s middle class will drive demand for better-quality medical treatment and care.
Ong, who is to head the new company, recently retired from UOB after a 34-year career. In his latest role at the Singaporean bank, he helmed the global markets and investment management divisions, where he oversaw UOB’s global treasury and asset management. He was also chairman of UOB Asset Management and UOB Venture Management. 

“The stakeholders in the joint venture have deep expertise in their respective fields. With this collaboration, I am confident we can offer investors an attractive alternative to generate a consistent stream of income,” said Ong in a statement. 

Shanghai-listed Nanshan Group operates in the aluminium, textiles, finance, healthcare, real estate, tourism, education and aviation sectors. Through its healthcare units, it has invested in and built hospitals, nursing homes and related facilities across China.