The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): John Wei, senior investment manager, Sabic Ventures

John Wei has been a senior investment manager Sabic Ventures, the corporate venture capital (CVC) subsidiary of Saudi Arabia-based petrochemicals producer Sabic, since September 2014. He is responsible for strategic investments and portfolio management in North America and Greater China region.

Rajiv Singh, president of Sabic Ventures, said in his nomination of Wei: “John has excelled in his role at Sabic Ventures since joining almost five years ago. He came to Sabic with an excellent academic record and training along with extensive experience of technical and business development roles with [industrial conglomerates] General Electric (GE) and Linde.

“He has leveraged his experience and skills to identify high-quality opportunities, execute transactions and help realise value for Sabic. He has demonstrated leadership capabilities by also taking on responsibilities for the China and Asia-Pacific regions as well.”

Having held investment and technical roles at GE and Linde mostly in the petrochemical, power generation, alternative energy and oil and gas industries, Wei said: “CVC is the ideal place for me to fully leverage my background in technical research as well as in business. I love the opportunity to work with innovative people with innovative ideas, and also enjoy the strategic and business thinking required to build a successful portfolio and of successful companies.”

Wei built Sabic Ventures’ China team and made the first direct equity investment on behalf of the unit in China in 2018. His favourite project, however, was a cashless equity investment that he had structured in early 2019, adding: “In this deal, Sabic made an in-kind investment in a surface treatment technology startup by granting an exclusive licence for a Sabic patent, in exchange for equity shares in the company.

“This deal allows the startup to leverage the Sabic IP (intellectual property) without cash burdens while enabling Sabic to monetise a piece of IP that may end up collecting dust anyway – a win-win solution.”

Wei holds a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University and a PhD from Rutgers University, both in chemical engineering while obtaining a master’s in computer science while doing the doctorate program., he has an MBA from UCLA with a focus in finance and entrepreneurship.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.