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Singapore’s Xen names former top GIC official Bernard Phang as adviser

By Asia Asset Management  
May 16, 2019

Singapore-based alternative investment platform Xen has appointed Bernard Phang, a former managing director of the city state’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, as an adviser.

Mr. Phang, who worked at GIC for over 25 years, will be responsible for advising Xen on its business strategy and portfolio design.

Xen’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Katrina Cokeng says Mr. Phang brings “an impressive wealth of experience and a unique perspective on the global alternative investment landscape” to the company.

“His deep understanding of the industry, particularly in real estate investing, will serve us well as we partner with more high-performing alternative investment managers and connect a wider group of investors with quality opportunities,” Ms. Cokeng says in a statement on May 14.

According to Mr. Phang, accredited investors in Asia are shut out of alternative investment opportunities because of high minimum investments and a lack of transparency, and suggests that Xen can help bridge the gap.

He says in the statement that “Xen’s business proposition has the potential to fill the gap between the need of a big segment of the investor market and the opportunities offered by attractive private market investments”.

Mr. Phang worked in various senior roles at GIC, including as head of strategic planning and research in its real estate unit, and head of investments, before being appointed as managing director in 2000. He retired from the fund in June 2017 and became an independent consultant last year.

Xen, which was established in 2018, provides investors with a digital wealth management platform to access various alternative investments, including hedge funds, private equity funds, and real estate funds.

The company has been expanding its advisory board. In January, it appointed Yong Hak Huh, former chief investment officer of private market and direct investment at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, as an adviser.

Both GIC and Xen do not publicly disclose their assets data. According to Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, GIC had around US$390 billion of assets under management as of June 2018.