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Ho Ching steps down as chairman of Temasek International, but remains as Temasek Holdings’ CEO

The Independent logo The Independent 20/3/2019 Anna Maria Romero
Ho Ching smiling for the camera © Provided by Apple Seed Pte Ltd

Singapore—A statement issued from Temasek International announced that Ho Ching is stepping down as its chairman and that she will be replaced by current Chief Executive Officer Lee Theng Kiat by April. Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara will be taking over as Temasek International’s CEO.

Ms Ho is the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

Temasek International is the wholly-owned management and investment arm of Temasek Holdings, which is one of the biggest investors around the globe. It reported a total portfolio of S$308 billion as of March 2018.

Ms Ho has been the CEO of Temasek Holdings for more than ten years. She said that this change is meant to make sure that Temasek International is “ready for disruptive challenges and opportunities in the decade ahead.”

She added that the demands on Temasek’s “three roles as investor, institution, and steward have also increased in tandem with (its) portfolio growth, breadth, and coverage,” and that the board of Temasek, along with Mr Lim and herself, “are pleased that the future leadership team of Temasek is well in place.”

Temasek Holdings CEO further said in the statement, “I’m also very glad that Theng Kiat has agreed to take over as chairman of Temasek International, to support and guide Dilhan and his team. This will provide steady continuity amid active change to fulfil Temasek International’s key roles as an active investor and a forward-looking institution.”

According to the statement from Temasek, As CEO, “Mr Pillay will be responsible for the role of Temasek as an active investor and shareholder. He will also oversee the operations of the firm, and the organisation of its talent and resources to deliver sustainable long term returns for Temasek.”

Meanwhile, the statement also says that Mr Lee “will be overseeing the development of Temasek as a forward-looking institution, and will work closely with Mr Pillay on commercial strategies and portfolio matters.”

Mr Lee stated that Mr Pillay will have complete support from Temasek International’s senior team, as well as the Temasek Holdings Board.

“We have been working for some time to build a strong leadership bench in Temasek, and I know Dilhan will bring his vision and passion for our mission to his new role.  I look forward to working with Dilhan in his role as the new CEO.

Dilhan has the ability to connect the dots, a keen eye for details and practical solutions, and a boldness to break new ground in anticipation of longer-term trends. He also has the support of his peers and colleagues to take the lead and reshape Temasek to be more ready to invest into a better, smarter and more connected world, and in a new environment with cyber threats and technological opportunities.”

The new CEO also commented on Temasek International. “The Temasek of today is a very different one to that which I joined, almost a decade ago. Today, we have a more global portfolio and diversified workforce; and we have actively transformed our portfolio from its Singapore origins to one which is growing strongly with Singapore and Asia. In the recent decade, we have also tapped on longer-term opportunities outside Asia.

The world is much more connected now. We look at global trends, invest across the world, and are constantly adapting ourselves to stay relevant. We are a builder of businesses, and more importantly, talent.

I am fortunate that we have a team in Temasek with a strong sense of purpose and a commitment to integrity and excellence. These are built on the foundation laid by many generations of dedicated staff, including Ho Ching and Theng Kiat. I look forward to working together with the team to take Temasek into the future.”

Mr Lee also talked about Temasek’s main goal. “Our purpose is to deliver sustainable long term returns. This aligns well with our broader role as a trusted steward. By doing well as an investor and doing right as an institution, we create a capacity in Temasek to do good for our communities.”

The portfolio of Temasek has more than doubled since 2005 when it was at S$103 billion. In ten years it had reached S$266 billion. Most of the company’s exposure is in Asia, specifically in Singapore and China. However, according to the statement from Temasek, “Outside Asia, 22% of the underlying portfolio exposure was to emerging technological trends and opportunities in US and Europe – up from 17% in 2015.”

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