According to a CNA report, Tan Jee Say said, as regards the eligibilty criteria, “he was chief executive officer with the title of regional managing director of John Govett (Asia) and its successor company AIB Govett (Asia) from February 1, 1997 to March 6, 2001.”
John Govett in the 1990s was a specialist fund mgr headquarterd in London. It focused on smaller cap Asian shares and had a gd reputation among investors.
Unfortunately in the second half of 1997, things started going badly wrong for Govett. There was an economic crisis in Thailand and the contagion spread to Indonesia and other Asian countries like S Korea. The crisis affected Govett more than it did other fund mgrs because the stocks it invested in, smaller cap companies, fared worse than blue chips in the crisis. Many “emerging blue chips” failed to survive or were permanently crippled. Often because they lacked the “fat” of their blue chip contemporaries when they had to refinance their loans.
“AIB said the Asian crisis of 1997 to 1998 crippled Govett’s business, which is largely focussed in Asia, and despite ‘substantial restructuring’ the business lacked the scale and was not expected to return to profitability in the near future.”: from an article in November 2003 when AIB sold Govett to Gartmore for a mere 14m pounds sterling.