Temasek beefs up team to navigate challenging times

Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings has made changes to its senior management team, moves aimed at helping the firm navigate challenging times ahead.

The changes come after Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC said last week that it is deepening its management bench.

Temasek has promoted Mr Chia Song Hwee and Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara to presidents. They join president Gregory Curl.

Dr Fidah Alsagoff, Mr Michael Buchanan, Ms Png Chin Yee and Ms Juliet Teo have been appointed senior managing directors. The appointments take effect from May 1.

Mr Boon Sim, previously the president of the Americas, head of the markets group and head of the credit portfolio, will be leaving Temasek and relinquishing his executive roles on May 1 as well.

He will become an advisory senior director and continue to help Temasek build and strengthen its network in the United States, and advise Temasek on relevant projects and initiatives, it said separately.

Mr Sim had indicated his desire to give up his executive positions since the end of last year for personal and family reasons, it said.

Mr Enrico Soddu, head of data and research at the Sovereign Wealth Center, viewed the new executive appointments as Temasek "broadening its pool of candidates for leadership".

Other changes Temasek unveiled yesterday mainly involve reallocation of functions across groups. These include bringing its sector and market investment teams under a single Investment Group; constituting a new Portfolio Strategy and Risk Group; and creating a Sustainability and Stewardship Group.

Temasek International (TI) chief executive officer Lee Theng Kiat said it may continue adding other capabilities to the business as Temasek grows its investment portfolio and global footprint.

"We are always looking to create new opportunities to attract talented people to Temasek," he said.

Mr Lee became TI chief executive officer last October in what was seen as an effort towards leadership transition. He had previously covered the duties of Temasek Holdings chief executive officer and executive director Ho Ching during her six-month sabbatical last year.

Mr Lee was made board director from the start of this month. He noted that Temasek is operating at a time of many global uncertainties.

"It highlights to all of us at Temasek the need to focus on protecting and working our portfolio, while continuing to build a stronger institution which positions us to meet these current and future challenges," he said.

TI was formed in 2011 as the wholly owned management arm of Temasek, to manage and build its capabilities in anticipation of a growing and increasingly global portfolio.

All Temasek staff, except for the the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Temasek, were transferred to TI in 2011.

This article was first published on April 27, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.