Wu Xiaohui, chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, one of China’s most prolific cross-border investors in recent years, has stepped down.
In an official statement, the group has said that Xiaohui is temporarily unable to fulfil his role for personal reasons. The statement further added that he has authorized other senior executives to continue running the business.
The announcement comes amid continuing reports in the Chinese media about Wu being investigated by Chinese authorities. According to a report in the South China Morning Post citing unnamed sources, Wu had been assisting investigations for a while, but he hadn’t returned after he was taken away for questioning at the end of last week.
Anbang Insurance has been one of China’s most high-profile property investors, and has made some landmark acquisitions in the US, including the $1.95 billion purchase of Waldorf Astoria in 2014, and the acquisition of Blackstone’s Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio for $6.5 billion in 2016.
However, regulatory scrutiny has impacted some of Anbang’s pursuits. One of the properties in Blackstone’s Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio was not sold to Anbang because of potential security issues for the property raised by the US government.
This March, the insurer also ended discussions to buy a stake in a New York City office building from the Kushner Companies, the New York-based firm owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law to President Trump.