DC Wealth Management received licences for asset management and advising on securities last month, according to records from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.
The firm is part of DC Wealth Group, which the firm states was co-founded by senior bankers from the mainland and Hong Kong, together with “part of Alibaba Group’s founding shareholders and other investors”, according to the firm’s website.
It is unclear which of Alibaba Group’s 18 founders DC Wealth is referring to. The most high profile are Jack Ma, lead founder and executive chairman of the group and executive vice president Joseph Tsai, who is a member of the group’s founding team.
FSA sought more information from DC’s managing director Cooper Liao and Alibaba, but they did not reply to initial queries. However, an Alibaba spokeswoman has since responded with a statement denying that Alibaba Group is involved with DC Wealth.
“There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between Alibaba Group, its chairman and vice chairman and DC Wealth Group,” the spokeswoman said. DC Wealth’s claim of such a connection, which is on its website, is “untrue and misleading”, she said.
FSA then contacted Liao for a response, but he declined to comment.
DC Wealth Management’s team consists of managing director Liao – who was formerly a director for UBS’ ultra-high-net-worth assets division, executive director Christina Shi, executive director Leon Li and vice president Andreia Tan.
The firm’s two responsible officers are Liao and Fan Zhenhong, according to SFC records.
DC Wealth provides high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors with family office, external asset management, family trust, insurance, overseas asset allocation and other cross-border wealth management services.
The firm has several business partners, which include banks and insurance firms, such as Mass Mutual, Standard Life, Principal, Friends Provident, Skandia International, Aviva, AIA, ICBC (Asia) and CCB International.
Besides DC Wealth Management, the other firms under the group are Hong Kong DC Insurance Consulting, China Hong Kong Asset Management, DC Trust (Asia) and DC Fiduciary Services.