Mystery boss

Ever wonder who owns HNA Group, the Fortune Global 500 conglomerate that is one of mainland China’s most aggressive overseas investors?

Well, keep wondering:

Mr Guan [HNA’s biggest shareholder] serves as co-chairman with Mr Chen’s son in a peer-to-peer financing platform owned by HNA, but he otherwise leaves few traces for a man who wields billions in assets.

He first bought into HNA subsidiaries seven years ago, through an investment vehicle that operates out of HNA’s Beijing offices. But HNA says Mr Guan is a “private investor” who does not work for the company.

Chinese corporate registries list several other business addresses for Mr Guan. One leads to the “Oriental Aphrodite Beauty Spa”, a street-side salon in a residential neighbourhood in western Beijing. The current owners say he sold the salon about five years ago. Another address led to a locked door in a shabby Beijing office building. His residence, according to Hong Kong corporate filings, is a nondescript apartment in south-west Beijing whose current occupant says she moved in a few months ago.

Reached by mobile phone, Mr Guan said: “It is inconvenient to answer any of your questions.”

Nice article and good reporting by FT.

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