Singaporean cousins Terence and Nelson Loh behind Newcastle United bid linked to over 30 companies

Their newest, Bellagraph Nova, is in the spotlight after reported bid for Newcastle United

Police are probing a firm owned by Terence (left) and Nelson Loh over signatures on financial statements.
Police are probing a firm owned by Terence (left) and Nelson Loh over signatures on financial statements.PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

Singaporean cousins Nelson Loh and Terence Loh have been involved in more than 30 companies between them, as shareholders or directors.

One of the newest, the Bellagraph Nova Group (BN Group), is now in the news for its reported bid for Newcastle United Football Club.

On its website, BN Group is described as an "established consortium with diverse investment holdings across multiple industries such as healthcare, financial holdings, consumer technology and luxury lifestyle".

It says it has "31 entities" and a "combined US$12 billion revenue" and is "headquartered in the glitzy no. 10 Place Vendome, Paris, France". The sum is equivalent to S$16.5 billion.

Its registered address, though, is in the decidedly more humble Novena Gardens in Singapore's Thomson Road. The four-storey condominum houses shops, apartments and offices.

The group - incorporated as Bellagraph Nova Pte Ltd in Singapore - occupies a nondescript fourth-storey unit with opaque glass doors and a dark blue facade.

When The Sunday Times visited yesterday, the office was closed. A wooden crate and cardboard carton sitting outside its doors had labels listing among its contents a "titanium rice intelligent disinfection robot TMiRob".

The company is listed in the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority database as a holding company.

On its own website, it is described as "the only group in the world to boast an international presence in all major commercial sectors" ranging from healthcare to financial services, technology and media.

Little else is known of the BN Group consortium that claims to employ 23,000 people worldwide.

Set up on July 20, it was born of a merger between the DORR Group - another company founded by the Loh cousins - and the Bellagraph Group, a company founded by Chinese national Evangeline Shen, 32.

Mr Nelson Loh, 40, Mr Terence Loh, 42, and Ms Shen are the only shareholders of Bellagraph Nova Pte Ltd, which was set up with a paid up capital of S$20 million.

The Loh cousins, who have often said in interviews that they are as close as brothers, are former bankers with JPMorgan.

Outside the Bellagraph Nova Group's office (left) located at Novena Gardens (above) in Thomson Road. The four-storey condominum houses shops, apartments and offices.
Bellagraph Nova Group's office is located at Novena Gardens in Thomson Road. The four-storey condominum houses shops, apartments and offices. PHOTO: GIN TAY

It has been reported that Mr Terence Loh had studied in the United States, while Mr Nelson Loh had attended Cambridge University.

In an interview with The Peak magazine in 2018, they said they had set up DORR Group in 2008 after letting a game of roulette at a Las Vegas casino decide if they should stay with their jobs or strike out on their own.

Outside the Bellagraph Nova Group's office (left) located at Novena Gardens (above) in Thomson Road. The four-storey condominum houses shops, apartments and offices.
Outside the Bellagraph Nova Group's office (above) located at Novena Gardens in Thomson Road. The four-storey condominum houses shops, apartments and offices. PHOTO: GIN TAY

The cousins, said to have grown up in the same family home in Bukit Timah, had revealed at the interview that the name DORR comes from the initials of two characters in their favourite movie, Ocean's 11, about an elaborate heist.

 
 

It was through this investment vehicle, reportedly managing over US$4 billion in funds and assets as of December last year, that the cousins expanded into the healthcare and aesthetics business, setting up the Novena Global Lifecare Group.

And it was at an education benefit fund-raising dinner organised by Novena Global that the cousins were photographed with former American president Barack Obama, whose doctored pictures are said to have been used in marketing material and social media channels of the Bellagraph Nova Group.



The photograph believed to be the original version (left) does not have the company name and logo, and also does not show Mr Terence Loh. PHOTOS: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP

Mr Obama was invited to speak at the event held on Dec 14 last year at the Ritz Carlton. Guests included tycoons, philanthropists and Malaysian royalty.

The cousins have been involved in other investment and holding companies as well as consultancies and real estate companies.

One of the companies, the DORR Global Healthcare International Pte Ltd, registered in 2016, has a paid up capital of $50 million.

Besides Bellagraph Nova Group, the cousins are linked to Ms Shen, also known as Shen Che, through the company Rock Star Advisors Pte Ltd and Kona Investment Pte Ltd.


Ms Evangeline Shen meeting former US President Barack Obama at a charity event in Singapore on Dec 14, sponsored by Novena Global Lifecare, founded by cousins Terence and Nelson Loh. PHOTO: BELLAGRAPH NOVA GROUP

Ms Shen, who said she is a graduate of Fudan University in Shanghai, was a lawyer from Jinmao LLP in China, which has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, and then an investment banker. Now the chairman of BN Group, she is described on the website as having led multiple ventures across industries.

One of them, Bellagraph Jewelry, is described as "an ultra-high luxury Parisian-designed jewelry house renowned for its bespoke investment-grade jewelry".

 

A July 5 press release on the BN Group site claims Bellagraph Jewelry pioneered the "unique strategy" of selling high-end jewelry pieces online.

It said it had sold a piece of red diamond jewellery for "a staggering price of US$102 million", and also garnered "over 20 million weekly views online across various social media platforms... which is on par with online views for Apple".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2020, with the headline 'Cousins linked to over 30 companies'. Print Edition | Subscribe