Bernard Charnwut Chan

Bernard Charnwut Chan GBS JP (Chinese: 陳智思; Jyutping: Can4 Zi3 Si1; 11 January 1965), is a Hong Kong politician and businessman, the incumbent Non-official Convenor of the Executive Council.

Bernard Charnwut Chan
Charnwut Sophonpanich

Non-official Convenor of the Executive Council
Assumed office
1 July 2017
Appointed byCarrie Lam
Preceded byLam Woon-kwong
Non-official Member of the Executive Council
Assumed office
1 July 2012
Appointed byLeung Chun-ying
Carrie Lam
In office
26 October 2004  20 January 2009
Appointed byTung Chee-hwa
Donald Tsang
Chairman of the Council of Lingnan University
Assumed office
22 October 2010
DeputySophia Kao
Delegate to the National People's Congress
Assumed office
March 2008
ChairmanWu Bangguo
Zhang Dejiang
Li Zhanshu
ConstituencyHong Kong
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
1 July 1998  30 September 2008
Succeeded byChan Kin-por
Personal details
Born (1965-01-11) 11 January 1965 (age 56)
British Hong Kong
Spouse(s)Yeo Peck Leng
RelationsChin Sophonpanich (grandfather)
Robin Chan (father)
Chatri Sophonpanich (uncle)
Chartsiri Sophonpanich (cousin)
Alma materPomona College (BA)


Chan born in Hong Kong with family roots in Chaoyang, Canton, also known by his Thai name Charnwut Sophonpanich (Thai: ชาญวุฒิ โสภณพนิช; RTGS: Chanwut Sophonphanit),[1][2] He is the grandson of Chin Sophonpanich, the late Thai Chinese founder of Bangkok Bank.[3] He graduated from The Hill School in 1983 and Pomona College in 1988 with a BA in Studio Art.[4] He is an investor in Thailand's Bumrungrad International Hospital.[5] He is married to Singaporean Yeo Peck Leng and has two children who inherited Thai and American citizenships.

Chan is the Convener of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council, appointed by Carrie Lam in July 2017. He was a member of the Legislative Council (Legco) from 1998 to 2008, representing the Insurance constituency. He became a Hong Kong Deputy to National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China in 2008.[6] He chairs several government advisory bodies: the Advisory Committee on Revitalizing Historical Buildings, the Standing Committee on Judicial Salaries and Condition of Services and the Hong Kong Council for Sustainable Development. He chaired the Antiquities Advisory Board from 2009–2013 and the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Condition of Services from 2001–2006.[7]

Outside of politics, he is President of Asia Financial Holdings and its main subsidiary, Asia Insurance.[8] Among his business successes are the formation in 1999 of Bank Consortium Trust, a joint venture of nine Hong Kong institutions that provides Mandatory Provident Fund services and of which he was founding chairman. He is also Chairman of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Chair of the Hong Kong-Thailand Business Council, Chairman of the Council of Lingnan University and Vice-Chairman of Oxfam Hong Kong; he is also chairman of the annual HK Oxfam Trailwalker event – a fund-raising 100-kilometre race that attracts teams from around the world.[9] He played a part in the creation of Caring Company, a framework that creates partnerships between the business and welfare sectors. Chan has been awarded Commander (third class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand,[10] the Gold Bauhinia Star (GBS) and Justice of the Peace (JP).

He has previously also held American and Thai citizenship until 2004, when he was appointed member of the Executive Council.[11][12]

In April 2021, he wrote an opinion piece, claiming that the NPCSC's decision to reform elections and only allow "patriots" to serve in the government was good and that "Taxpayers should welcome the revamp."[13]


In 2011, Chan's wife Yeo Peck Leng founded an "alternative" private primary school, the Almitas Academy, with the couple's two sons as the only pupils. A year later the strongly Christian school, which operates in a commercial building in North Point, had 12 pupils aged from six to 12, about a third of whom have special needs. The academy works closely with parents to nurture their children to their fullest potential. Effective 1 January 2013, the academy changed its status to a not for profit organisation and also took the opportunity to change the English name of the school to Grace Christian Academy.


  1. Second SAR Legislative Council formed
  2. Yau Lee Holdings Ltd. (0406): Executive Profile
  3. (in Chinese) 陳智思議員 Archived 6 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Barber, Mary (5 May 1988). "After Bout With Rare Heart Disease, Student Creates Legacy of Art". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2021 via
  5. "News Digest: Hospital teams up with Cathay Pacific to launch medical tourism". The China. 29 December 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (page inaccessible)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 January 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Bernard Chan Archived 9 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. 棄美籍10年 或仍要交稅-陳智思啞子食黃連
  11. 20% of 70 is not 12 Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Hong Kong electoral reform a timely cure for Legco paralysis". South China Morning Post. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.