Temasek Names Gregory Curl, Simon Israel as Presidents Effective September

Temasek Holdings Pte said Gregory Curl, once a candidate for chief executive officer of Bank of America Corp., will join the Singapore state-owned investment company as president.

Simon Israel, Temasek’s executive director, will also assume the role of president, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

The appointments take effect from Sept. 1, more than a year after the manager of S$186 billion ($137 billion) parted ways with former BHP Billiton Ltd. head Charles “Chip” Goodyear, who was going to replace Ho Ching as CEO, because of differences over strategy. U.S.-born Goodyear would’ve been the first foreign-born CEO of the state-owned investor.

“This increases their options in terms of succession planning, as there’ll be more people at senior management to draw on if the need arises,” said Melvyn Teo, associate professor of finance at Singapore Management University. “It’s either that Ho Ching might be delegating her duties more, or that Temasek has identified certain growth opportunities it wants to pursue that is best managed by someone new from outside the firm.”

Curl, Israel and former Singapore Exchange Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Hsieh Fu Hua, who started Aug. 1 as president, will “work in close partnership” with Ho, Temasek said.

Legal Experience

Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, managing partner of Singapore- based law firm Wong Partnership LLP, will join Temasek as head of portfolio management on Sept. 1, the company also said today. He will be the co-head of Singapore with Israel, it said.

Sandrasegara, 47, has over 20 years of regional legal experience, especially in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate law, according to Temasek.

Curl, who has 34 years of banking as well as mergers and acquisition experience, will oversee Temasek’s interests in financial services and support its “strategic engagement” in the Americas, the Singapore firm said.

The 62-year-old retired in March from Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, where he was last chief risk officer, Temasek said. Brian Moynihan won the CEO job at Bank of America in December and named Bruce Thompson as chief risk officer in January, replacing Curl.

Curl’s main work since joining Bank of America in 1996 had involved advising CEOs Kenneth D. Lewis and Hugh McColl Jr. on strategy and acquisition. Lewis, who retired at the end of December after leading the bank since 2001, pushed for Curl to succeed him, a person familiar with the matter has said.

Bench Strength

Hsieh, 60, handles Temasek’s leadership and talent development as well as risk management. Israel, 57, oversees its investments in Singapore as well as in Australia and New Zealand, Temasek said.

Israel joined Temasek as a director in August 2005 and was appointed executive director in July 2006. The former Danone Group chairman for Asia-Pacific, is currently chairman of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., and a director of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., CapitaLand Ltd. and Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., three companies majority owned by Temasek.

“Along with Simon and other members of our senior team, Fu Hua, Greg and Dilhan will add tremendous depth to our bench strength, as we continue to forge a partnership culture with an ownership mindset, and further hone our capabilities as an investment house,” Ho said in the statement.

Ho, 57, is married to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

To contact the reporter on this story: Netty Ismail in Singapore nismail3@bloomberg.net.

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