26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Kai Nin ‘Kenny’ Man, head of international investments, Ant Financial

Kenny Man is head of international investment at Ant Financial, China-based e-commerce group Alibaba’s financial services affiliate.

Ant Financial was formed by Alibaba in 2014 to oversee financial services products, such as online payment platform Alipay. Its subsidiaries also include asset management fund Yu’e Bao, mobile bank Mybank and Zhima Credit, the credit scoring system also known as Sesame Credit.

Alibaba agreed in February 2018 to acquire a 33% stake in Ant in return for surrendering ownership of certain intellectual properties, under terms originally agreed in 2014.

The company raised an undisclosed amount in 2015 from the state-owned National Council for Social Security Fund and China Development Bank as well as unnamed domestic insurance companies, which jointly took a 12.4% stake at a reported $40bn to $50bn valuation.

China Post Capital, the investment arm of postal services provider China Post Group, added an undisclosed amount the same year before returning for a $4.5bn round in 2016 that valued Ant at $60bn.

Insurance firms including China Life also took part in the 2016 round, as did China Development Bank Capital, sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC), private equity firm Primavera Capital Group and CCB Trust, a subsidiary of China Construction Bank.

Ant Financial was looking to go public (IPO) in mid-2018 which could be one of the biggest IPOs in Asia, but the plans were delayed. The Financial Times reported in January 2020 that Credit Suisse and China International Capital Corporation (CICC) are involved in reviving the IPO preparations, citing two insiders. Alibaba has a minority stake in CICC and has ongoing collaborations with Credit Suisse.

In January 2016, Man joined the board of One97 Communications, the India-based parent company of Paytm, the subcontinent’s main online payments platform, just before the country demonetarised and effectively removed cash from the banking system. Demand for electronic cash has taken off in India and Ant’s investments in One97 the year before seems to have been timed well.

Since joining Ant in April 2015, Man has been involved in all the overseas acquisitions and investments, including the KT Consortium for the KBank licence deal, Paytm and Ascend Money in Thailand, while South Korea-based Kakao took in $200m from Ant to spin out its payments platform.

After its 2018 round, Ant was valued at $150bn. It announced in November 2019 that it was raising approximately $1bn for an investment fund tentatively called Ant Unicorn Fund, which will invest in India and Southeast Asia-based companies and will concentrate on blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, internet-of-things and computing technologies connected to its businesses.

Before his time at Ant, Man was a senior investment director at Vision Knight Capital, a private equity firm, where he had led the 91.com deal sold to Baidu for $1.9bn and the New York flotation of 500.com. Earlier, he was a director in Alibaba’s investment and acquisition team working on the Vendio, Auctiva and Singlefeed deals in the US and Oncard Payments in China.

Alibaba had spun out Ant before its own flotation in 2014 and Man was “deeply involved” in the Alibaba initial public offering, according to his biography.

Before Alibaba, Man was the bottling operations planning manager at Pepsi China and had worked at consultancy McKinsey & Co in the corporate finance and strategy practice. He has an executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and a bachelor of commerce degree from University of British Columbia.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF