Richard Ong

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Richard Ong

Richard Ong (born 1965) is the founder, chairman, and CEO of RRJ Capital, one of the largest private equity funds based in Asia.[2][3] Richard was also a founder and CEO of Hopu Fund 1, a Beijing-based private equity fund.[4][5]


Early career[edit]

Ong started his finance career at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked for three years as a mergers banker; he also spent a year at Prudential Bache International.[6]

Goldman Sachs[edit]

Ong joined Goldman Sachs in 1993 and became a partner of the firm seven years later.[2] He was later named to the position of co-president of Goldman's Singapore office.[6]

In 2006, Ong was promoted to the position of co-head of Asia investment banking, replacing Bill Wicker, who moved to New York.[2] GS moved Ong from Singapore to Beijing with the intention that he would also become CEO of their Beijing joint venture Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, Co.[6] However, Ong's weak knowledge of written Chinese[7] led him to fail a language ability examination required to take up his new position.[8] The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) had required since 2004 that CEOs, deputy CEOs, and heads of supervisory boards at locally incorporated securities firms all pass the examination; however many CEOs and deputy CEOs of other securities companies were not able to pass the CSRC examination as well, but were given waivers.[8] Goldman elevated the joint venture's deputy CEO Zha Xiangyang to the CEO post in Ong's place.[7]

One industry observer criticised the decision by CSRC to deny Ong his new position as "short sighted and xenophobic", also noting that it served as a wake-up call to overseas Chinese that shared ethnicity was not a guarantee of success in the mainland China market.[9] A China Economic Review editorial speculated that the language proficiency issue was merely a pretext, and that the true reason that CSRC denied Goldman permission to name Ong to his new position was due to his family ties to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and his own role in the money-losing sale of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Shin Corporation to Temasek.[8]

Hopu Fund[edit]

In January 2008, Ong resigned from his position at GS, ending a fifteen-year tenure there; his departure was seen as a major blow to the firm.[10] He stated that he planned to return to Malaysia to spend time with his family and work in his family business.[2] It soon emerged that he would be joining fellow former GS executive Fang Fenglei at the Hopu Fund, a new China private equity fund established by Fang. Goldman planned to invest roughly US$300 million of their own money in the new fund, while Temasek would provide another US$1 billion. The total size of the fund was planned at US$2 billion; interest from potential investors far exceeded that amount, according to unnamed sources.[11] In 2010 the fund began winding down when it announced that Hopu Investment Management would not be raising a second fund. [12]

RRJ Capital[edit]

RRJ Capital, founded in 2011, is based in Hong Kong and Singapore with 40 professionals currently employed. The name "RRJ" is named after his three children. The first RRJ Capital Fund raised $2.3 billion from its global investors.[13] Following the first, the second RRJ Capital Fund raised $3.6 billion and the current (third) RRJ Fund recently broke the record as being the largest in Asia at $4.5 billion.[13] The third fund additionally was "oversubscribed by $1 billion, with the majority of the capital coming from North American investors".[13] RRJ Capital has six managing directors and has invested in over 50 companies globally. The firm now manages $11 billion. In 2013 and 2015, RRJ Capital invested in two Hong Kong-listed mainland real estate property stocks, Logan Property Holding and CIFI Holdings. In 2017, Richard Ong reported significant gains for RRJ in the investment.[14] In 2014 RRJ was the only non-Chinese direct investor in the acquisition of 30% of Chinese oil company, Sinopec.[15] In July 2018, RRJ invested around $1.3 billion in companies owned by HNA Group.[16] RRJ has a minority stake in insurance company FWD Group which is reportedly laying the groundwork for an IPO in 2018.[17]


Ong is Malaysian Chinese and was born in Malaysia.[7] He received a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1986 and then an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1989. He has three children. His brother Charles Ong was the chief strategist of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings[2] and is currently co-CEO and co-chairman of RRJ Capital.


  1. ^ "厚樸吞建行股份震天下/Hopu 'swallows' CCB shares in shocking move", Ming Pao Finance, 14 May 2009, retrieved 15 October 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e Chan, Cathy (30 January 2008), "Goldman's Ong to Step Down as Asia Banking Co-Head",, retrieved 20 February 2009
  3. ^ Lau, Josephine (30 April 2008), "Goldman's Fang Makes First Private Equity Investment",, retrieved 20 February 2009
  4. ^
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  6. ^ a b c Austin, Bill (11 October 2006), "Goldman picks chief for China bank unit", International Herald Tribune, retrieved 20 February 2009
  7. ^ a b c Chan, Cathy (12 July 2007), "Goldman's Ong Misses China CEO Job on Language Hitch",, retrieved 20 February 2009
  8. ^ a b c Wong, Joon-Ian (24 July 2007), "The tangled web of the brothers Ong, Goldman, Temasek, Shin Corp, and Beijing", China Economic Review, retrieved 20 February 2009
  9. ^ Anderlini, Jamil (12 July 2007), "Goldman executive hits China barrier", Financial Times, retrieved 20 February 2009
  10. ^ Douglas, Stewart (1 February 2008), "Goldman Loses Further Executive", Banking Times, retrieved 20 January 2009
  11. ^ Carew, Rick (4 February 2008), "New private equity fund targets deals in China", Wall Street Journal, retrieved 20 February 2009
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c Carew, Rick (2015-10-01). "RRJ Capital Raises $4.5 Billion in Largest Asian Private-Equity Firm Fundraising". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
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