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Ex-interim CEO of Pine Capital unit withdraws appeals against group

THE former interim CEO and executive chairman of Pine Capital unit Advance Capital Partners Asset Management (ACPAM) had, on Sept 3, formally withdrawn his appeal for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of ACPAM to be held and for an order that the quorum requirements of ACPAM to hold a general meeting be waived.

Financial services firm Pine Capital said on Friday that Tan Choon Wee, the ex-CEO, has also withdrawn his application to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against a High Court decision refusing to restrain officers of ACPAM from further acting as officers of ACPAM.

The withdrawals were a result of negotiations between parties, said Pine Capital.

This comes shortly after ACPAM held an EGM on Aug 12 which saw the appointment of Mr Tan as director of ACPAM being passed, as well as the removal of Wang Meng as CEO and director.

The resolutions, which were among a few others, were unanimously passed by the only two shareholders of ACPAM, Pine Capital and Mr Tan.

Mr Tan has been embroiled in legal proceedings with the company. Pine Capital had, in April, called for an EGM to remove Mr Tan and two others from the board of ACPAM.

Pine Capital did so because of allegations it received from various parties relating to potential conflict of interest and possible lapses in internal controls.

Mr Tan was also reprimanded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for, among other things, failing to discharge his duty and function. This was after the fund management firm continued to be late in its submissions to MAS after having been already reprimanded in July 2018 for being repeatedly late in its regulatory submissions.

Mr Tan had quit as Pine Capital interim CEO and chairman on March 1.

He then sued the group, claiming that ACPAM's affairs had been conducted in a manner prejudicial to him; Pine Capital subsequently commenced its own legal proceedings against him and other former directors and officers of ACPAM.

Pine Capital was asked by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) why it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to approve changes to the board of ACPAM, pointing out that Mr Tan was reprimanded by MAS.

SGX also highlighted the legal proceedings between Mr Tan and the group, as well as the company's ongoing independent review looking into the allegations it had received.

In response to the queries, Pine Capital said on Aug 23 that Mr Tan is the only other shareholder of ACPAM, owning 49 per cent of the company.

"Mr Tan Choon Wee was also previously the CEO of ACPAM. His experience will enable ACPAM to stabilise its operations and to consider the future direction and business strategies of ACPAM in light of ACPAM's history," said the group.

Pine Capital added that Mr Tan will not be holding a key executive position in ACPAM. The company's responsibilities to comply with regulatory requirements will not be handled by Mr Tan.