Convoy Financial has confirmed its chairman Quincy Wong Lee-Man was arrested on 8 December and has now been suspended as a director.
According to local newspaper the South China Morning Post, Wong was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport by ICAC officers on his return from holiday.
The arrest is the latest controversy to hit Convoy as the ICAC confirmed on 7 December it had searched eight locations and arrested three executives associated with the firm.
Additionally, on 7 December, Convoy’s shares were halted from trading after the firm’s share price fell by 7%.
The earlier arrests were Convoy deputy chairwoman and executive director of financial advisers, Rosetta Fong Sut-Sam, and executive director Christie Chan Lai-yee.
Convoy has confirmed that both Fong and Chan have also been suspended as directors from the company.
The previous chief executive of Convoy, Mark Mak Kwoong-yiu, was also arrested.
Mak, chairman of Lerado Finance Group, had been Convoy chief executive from 2010 to March 2016.
Following the arrests and suspensions, Convoy has appointed three new independent non-executive directors and three executive directors.
They include Johnny Chen as interim chairman of the board with effect from 9 December.
Chen said he understood the “immense responsibility” he has in reforming Convoy.
“The new directors are all experts in financial auditing and corporate governance, who are able to bring Convoy back on track with their experiences,” he said.
Chen is also a senior adviser at LionRock Capital and an associate professor of finance and management at the Hong University of Science and Technology.
Prior to these roles, Chen worked at Zurich Insurance from March 2005 to February 2015 in multiple senior managerial roles in the Asia Pacific region.
‘Business as usual’
Convoy group president Ng Wing Fai said the firm is undertaking reforms in the areas of internal audit, internal compliance and corporate governance.
“I want to reiterate that the Company is financially sound with abundant liquidity. Our business is as usual and customers’ interests remain unchanged,” Ng said.
“I believe Convoy can relaunch with support from the new board and our colleagues. We will continue to liaise closely with the regulatory authorities, customers, partners and our colleagues. We will also maintain a high level of transparency to the public,” he said.
In November 2016, Convoy paid £24m (€27.2m, $32.1m) for a 17% stake in UK investment platform Nutmeg.
At the time UK chancellor Philip Hammond praised the move saying Britain was leading the way forward in global Fintech.