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30 Sep

New World Development Announces Newly Appointed Board Members, Boosting Percentage of Women on Board to Over One-third, Highest among Local Developers

Adrian Cheng: "A diverse and inclusive boardroom with higher female ratio offers new perspectives on governance and strategy"

New World Development Company Limited (“New World Development” or “the Group”, Hong Kong stock code: 00017) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Brian Cheng Chi-ming as non-executive director and Mrs. Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, Ms. Anthea Lo Wing-sze, and Ms. Fonia Wong Yeung-fong as independent non-executive directors, and the re-designation of Mr. Cheng Chi-heng from executive director to non-executive director, all effective from 1 December, 2022. Mr. Thomas Liang Cheung-biu, independent non-executive director, will retire after conclusion of the Group’s Annual General Meeting on 22 November this year. Mr. Howard Yeung Ping-leung and Mr. Hamilton Ho Hau-hay will step down from their positions as independent non-executive directors with effect from 1 December this year. Following the appointments, female directors will make up 35.3% of the members of the Board, the highest proportion among major property developers in Hong Kong, maintaining the Group’s leading position among Hong Kong listed companies.

New World Development expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Howard Yeung Ping-leung, Mr. Hamilton Ho Hau-hay, and Mr. Thomas Liang Cheung-biu, for their long-term devotion and significant contributions to the Group. With over 15 years of dedicated service each, they have contributed substantially to the Group by offering profound insights into its overall strategic development, especially regarding corporate governance and the sustainable development of the company. Their valued contributions have allowed the Group to maintain its competitiveness in the rapidly changing business environment. The Group wishes them all the best in the future.

New World Development would also like to extend a warm welcome to the four new board members. They have abundant professional knowledge and ample experience in different sectors, including business, public administration, innovation and technology, tourism, digital assets, and social welfare, which can bring the Group invaluable new perspectives. The Group hopes that the leadership of the board members will continue to foster good corporate governance, allow the Group to take advantage of opportunities for business expansion, facilitate the continuous development of its ecosystem, and create more shared value for society.

Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development, said: “A diverse boardroom can bring together talent from different age groups, backgrounds and perspectives, which can significantly strengthen management and decision-making capability, bringing great benefits in terms of corporate sustainability. With this in mind, the Group will continue to strive to maintain the diversity of our board and actively nurture a more inclusive work environment to continuously improve operations and governance, and to create greater value for the whole of society.”

In response to The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited’s Corporate Governance Code amended in December last year, New World Development will follow the procedure of reviewing the term of the board at regular intervals, including that of independent non-executive directors who have served more than nine consecutive years, to ensure independent views, inject a broader range of experience, and allow a wider variety of perspectives on the board.

Greater Board Diversity with 35.3% Women, Leading Local Developers

With the appointments, the board of New World Development will have six female members, and female executives will occupy 35.3% of the seats, maintaining a leading position among Hong Kong listed companies and the highest proportion among major property developers in Hong Kong, exceeding the average for Hang Seng Index (HSI) constituents at 17.1%[1] and the international standard of 30% recommended by the international organisation 30% Club. In addition, according to the Women on Boards: Progress Report 2021 released by MSCI, a leading provider of global indices, in February 2022, the percentage of directorships held by women was 22.6% in the MSCI All Country World Index and 29% in the MSCI World Index.

Promoting Cultural Diversity and Inclusion to Create an Equal and Friendly Workplace

Narrowing the workplace gender gap, achieving gender equality, and strengthening women’s empowerment have become major global trends, responding to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly. In 2020, New World Development became the first property developer in Hong Kong to support the Women’s Empowerment Principles initiated by the United Nations by making pledges to respect and apply the principles at all business levels. In the future, the Group will continue to promote cultural diversity and inclusion and to devote itself to creating a friendlier, more equal work environment, to attract and retain more top talent, thereby maintaining its long-term competitiveness and ensuring its sustainable development.

Mr. Brian Cheng Chi-ming is an executive director of NWS Holdings Limited and a director of various subsidiaries of the Group. He is the chairman and a non-executive director of Integrated Waste Solutions Group Holdings Limited and a non-executive director of Haitong International Securities Group Limited and Wai Kee Holdings Limited. Mr. Cheng holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Babson College in Massachusetts, United States. He is currently a member of the Thirteenth Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of the People’s Republic of China.

Mrs. Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, GBM, GBS, JP is an independent non-executive director of several listed companies in Hong Kong. She holds a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Science from The University of Hong Kong, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University (named a Littauer Fellow) and a Master’s degree in Education from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Mrs. Law was a Hong Kong Deputy to the National People’s Congress and a member of the Executive Council of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR. During her 30 years in the civil service, Mrs. Law has worked in many fields, including medical and health, economic services, housing, land and planning, home affairs, social welfare, civil service, transport, education, and manpower. She was the Commissioner of the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption before her retirement.

Ms. Anthea Lo Wing-sze, BBS, JP is an independent non-executive director of Virtual Mind Holding Company Limited and Finsoft Financial Investment Holdings Limited. Ms. Lo holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Sydney and a Master of Commerce in Finance degree from the University of New South Wales in Australia. She is a Certified Public Accountant of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant of CPA Australia. She is the general manager and financial director of Million Tour Limited as well as the founder and financial director of M1 Hotel Group. Ms. Lo has served the public in various capacities, including as a member of the Social Workers Registration Board, the Advisory Committee on Admission of Quality Migrants and Professionals, the Museum Advisory Committee, and an Honorary Court Member of Lingnan University.

Ms. Fonia Wong Yeung-fong is a senior director of business development South Pacific at EBSI Private (Everbright Securities International). Ms. Wong holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a degree in China Law from Tsinghua University. She is a certified international wealth manager and a certified financial planner. Ms. Wong has served the public in various capacities, including as a council member of Lingnan University, president and co-founder of the Hong Kong Digital Asset Society, founder of Hong Kong Youth Service Leader Award, charter president of the Rotary Club of Central, Hong Kong, and charter president of the Rotary Alumni Association, Rotary International District 3450.

[1] Data from the website of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited as of September 2022