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June 27, 2017

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Ex-J.P. Morgan exec takes Taipei 101 chair

TAIPEI--Christina Sung (宋文琪), who is widely known in Taiwan as the "godmother of funds," has been chosen to serve as the chairperson of Taipei Financial Center Corp., Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) confirmed yesterday.

Chang said there were several candidates to head the company that owns and operates the Taipei 101 skyscraper, but after considering Sung's background and credentials, she was considered the candidate best suited for the job.

Sung, who was active in Taiwan's financial circles for decades with J.P. Morgan Asset Management and HSBC Asset Management and earned the title the "godmother of funds" before retiring in 2006, has most recently served as a national policy adviser to the government.

Sung will assume her new post in mid- or late November according to legal procedures, a Taipei 101 spokesman said.

The ministry was forced to search for a new chairman after Taipei Financial Center Corp.'s former chairman, Harace Lin (林鴻明), was taken into custody by prosecutors on Sept. 27 on a charge of embezzling NT$600 million in a land deal in 1999.

Lin's arrest came on the eve of a meeting of Taipei Financial Center Corp.'s board of directors in which he was bidding for re-election with the support of directors representing the government, which owns a 44 percent stake in the company.

The ministry quickly moved to block the meeting, asking its board members not to attend to prevent a quorum.

Wei Ying-chiao (魏應交), representing Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團), Taipei Financial Center's largest private shareholder with a 37-percent stake, took over as acting chairman.

Out of Taipei Financial Center Corp.'s 13 directors, the government has six seats, Ting Hsin has five, and Cathay United Bank and Chinatrust Commercial Bank have one seat each.

At a height of 508 meters, Taipei 101 was ranked the world's tallest building from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Kahlifa in Dubai in 2010.

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