Colin Fan, ex-Deutsche Bank executive, leaves SoftBank Vision Fund

Colin Fan, ex-Deutsche Bank executive, leaves SoftBank Vision Fund

Colin Fan, a former senior executive at Deutsche Bank, is stepping down as managing partner at SoftBank’s Vision Fund, marking the latest upheaval in the fund’s tumultuous operations in the United States.

Mr. Fan, who joined the Vision Fund in 2017, is moving into an advisory role within the unit that manages the Japanese group’s investment arm, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

A trader who became Co-Director of Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank prior to his exit in 2015, Mr. Fan was instrumental in Vision Fund’s investment in Greensill Capital, a controversial UK-based company and specializing in supply chain finance. Other investments he made in robotic pizza delivery company Zume and car rental start-up Fair have gone downhill.

One person said Fan would continue to work closely with Rajeev Misra, who heads the Vision Fund and has filled its ranks with a number of his former colleagues at Deutsche Bank.

Munish Varma, another former Deutsche Bank alumnus, will move from London to Silicon Valley to take on some of Mr. Fan’s responsibilities as a managing partner.

Mr Fan’s departure comes just weeks after SoftBank confirmed that Jeffrey Housenbold, one of the fund’s top investors in the United States, was planning to leave later this year. Mr Housenbold has overseen some of the fund’s biggest bets, including meal delivery company DoorDash, whose valuation soared to more than $ 60 billion following a public listing last month.

Michael Ronen, another managing partner of Vision Fund in the United States, left last year after saying he expressed concerns about the fund’s “problems”.

The Vision Fund has been a source of uproar within SoftBank, undergoing multiple reorganizations since Managing Director Masayoshi Son formed the group to make big bets on artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

Last year, SoftBank’s investment arm, which manages the Vision Fund, laid off about 15% of its 500 employees globally.

The Japanese group’s first $ 100 billion Vision fund recently recovered after struggling at the start of a string of troubled investments, like real estate group WeWork. SoftBank said it had recorded a cumulative gain of $ 9.6 billion on the fund’s investments at the end of the third quarter.

However, the negative publicity associated with some of his bad bets, including WeWork and the dog walking app Wag, hampered Mr. Son’s plans to raise outside capital for later funds. SoftBank has launched a second Vision Fund, but it currently only spends money provided by the company itself.

SoftBank declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported on Mr. Fan’s new role.


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