Former Hong Kong minister for mainland affairs takes key posts at ex-finance chief’s company

Raymond Tam to fill ‘strategic role’ in health care and education businesses for New Frontier Group under Antony Leung

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 10:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 1:26pm

Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, a former Hong Kong minister in charge of mainland affairs, is set to take up key leadership posts in health care and education at a company founded by his ex-boss Antony Leung Kam-chung, who was once the city’s finance secretary.

In October, Tam will run some of New Frontier Group’s businesses on the mainland as the vice-chairman of New Frontier Health and chairman of New Frontier Education. He will be based in Hong Kong.

Tam, a career civil servant, was the city’s secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs. He also served as Leung’s press secretary when Leung was the finance chief in the early 2000s.

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New Frontier’s announcement came as a local government committee endorsed Tam’s employment on condition that until the end of next June 2018, he would not represent the group or any party to negotiate against or with the government.

Tam is also not allowed to be involved in bidding for any projects or contracts under funds administered by the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau as well as departments and units under it.

New Frontier Group, co-founded last year by Leung, is controlled by the Nan Fung Group, a regional conglomerate engaging in real estate and investment businesses of which Leung is the group chairman and CEO.

New Frontier currently operates companies dealing with health care, innovation, education, and finance. Its major investment is on the mainland. Its mission, according to managing director Alison Chan, is to “bring Hong Kong’s best practice to China”.

Earlier reports said Leung had planned to invest 1.1 billion yuan (about HK$1.32 billion) in health care and rehabilitation services on the mainland.

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Leung said in a statement that Tam would “play a key leadership role in shaping and building the future of the group”.

On Tam’s lack of experience in education or medical businesses, Chan added: “We need talent to lead the team. [Tam] will play more of a strategic role rather than being involved in daily operations.”

Tam also said in a statement: “I strongly support the social objectives and strategic direction envisioned by Mr Leung. As a member of New Frontier, I will be able to contribute to the social and economic development of our country in my new capacity.”