Li & Fung recruits new CFO
The Chinese sourcing giant Li & Fung announced the arrival of Ed Lam on November 5, 2012 to take charge of its finances. Lam was a banker for six years at Citibank, one of the world's largest banking institutions and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Since the retirement of Li & Fung's former chief financial officer Frank Leong in 2004, CEO William Fung and his son Spencer have alternately managed the conglomerate’s finances. The latter was promoted to chief operating officer (COO) last April, following his role as head of Li & Fung's European branch.
"The recruitment of Mr. Lam occurs in an uncertain economic environment for Li & Fung," commented The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. "The company has seen its share price under pressure this year amid questions over whether the company can continue to have healthy organic growth given its large exposure to Western economies."
Wal-Mart, a leading North American customer of Li & Fung through 3,700 stores, had canceled a call option with Li & Fung, which would have given Wal-Mart the opportunity to buy Li & Fung's American subsidiary, Direct Sourcing Group (specific supplier to Wal-Mart) in 2016.
During Ed Lam's tenure at Citibank, he consulted Li & Fung on mergers and acquisitions among other transactions. "Ed Lam knows Li & Fung very well and brings a strategic complement to our management team," said Bruce Rockowitz, president and CEO of Li & Fung, emphasizing the importance of the timing of this recruitment as the company’s three-year major development plan ends.
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