Guan Ong reaches out to Lindsay Mann for directorship

The chief executive at the young Asia credit shop Blue Rice seeks to strengthen the fund's governance.

Guan Ong, CEO and CIO at Blue Rice Investment Management (Brim), is in the process of registering Lindsay Mann as a director of the Brim Asian Credit Fund.

Mann recently retired from First State Investments, where he had run its Southeast Asian business from Singapore before transferring with the firm to his native Australia.

The Brim fund, which has been named best start-up hedge fund by AsianInvestor this year, currently has two directors: Ong and a representative from DMS, a service provider in the Cayman Islands, where the fund is domiciled.

This is enough to meet Singaporean law, but Ong wants to add a third director to the fund, to bolster transparency and governance. "He's the tie-breaker," Ong says and, referring to the recent British election, "he's like the Liberal Democrats".

Although Ong has known Mann for many years, the relationship has been professional, but not especially close. Ong was looking for someone known as a stickler for the rules. As a regional director at First State, Mann is obviously familiar with how regulation works in Singapore and in other jurisdictions. He helped First State become a prominent provider to Asian retail investors, a role that involved plenty of interaction with counterparties, investors and the government.

"I don't want investors or counterparties questioning me about how the fund is governed," Ong says. "The governance side is very important, but I need to focus most of my attention on the investment side."

The Brim Asian Credit Fund launched in December. The management company's COO is Vincent Ng. His previous role was head of operations at ARA Strategic Capital, an equity fund management arm of ARA Asset Management, which is an affiliate of Hong Kong conglomerate Cheung Kong Group.

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