By Carolyn Cohn and Selena Li

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong-based billionaire Calvin Lo is considering investing more money in Formula One following his connection with F1 team Williams, Lo told Reuters in an interview, adding that other Asian investors were also interested in investing in sports. .

Lo, chief executive of insurance broker RE Lee International, has confirmed he has “some sort of exposure” to Williams, following the team’s purchase by US private investment firm Dorilton Capital in 2020. He declined to give further details, citing non-disclosure agreements.

Dorilton Capital is making investments for Lo, according to media reports.

“A lot of people, myself included, are always looking for other teams, other opportunities, because…there are always good teams but they are not able to find the right car,” Lo said.

“In Asia right now there’s a lot of cash, it’s mind-boggling. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next news you hear…maybe a consortium in Asia is investing in other teams.

Lo did not name the teams attracting investor interest.

Formula 1 currently has 10 teams, with any new entrants accepted having to pay a $200 million fee to be split among the existing teams.

Existing teams include Ferrari-powered Haas, whose title sponsor was Belarus-born chemical billionaire Dmitry Mazepin until he was sanctioned by the European Union in March following the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia. Haas declined to comment on the investment talks.

Williams has suffered financially as a Formula 1 carmaker because unlike its manufacturer-owned rivals, there is no road car business behind it, Lo said.

Williams posted a loss in 2019, the last year before it was sold.

PANDEMIC INSURANCE BOOST

RE Lee operates in Hong Kong and overseas, offering life insurance policies to ultra-high net worth individuals through major insurers such as Prudential and Manulife.

The brokerage has already closed policies with premiums totaling $1.2 billion in the first half, equaling its business for all of 2021, which was itself a record year, Lo said.

COVID-19 has increased the demand for life insurance for the super-rich as they become more aware of their mortality.

“Whenever there’s some kind of pandemic disaster, life insurance usually does well,” Lo said. “The demand for our services is huge.”

The old loose monetary environment left the super-rich with enough cash to deploy, and life insurance helps ease the tax burden from the old to the new generation, he said.

Policy payouts give wealthy families access to cash that can be used to pay inheritance tax bills. Policies can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lo is looking to open an office in London this year to serve the 8-9% of its clients that have a UK presence.

Lo also runs a wealth management business and is considering buying commercial property in London, although he said it was not without risk.

‘UK property prices are expensive, some would say they are severely overvalued,’ he said, adding that ‘it’s almost hard to value it, every property is so old’ .

Lo bought the five-star Mandarin Oriental Taipei for $1.2 billion in 2018 and is considering similar investments in London.

“If you have cash…maybe that’s something to look at.”

(Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)