Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, said Hsieh Fu Hua stepped down as president, becoming the second executive to leave the post in three months.
Hsieh relinquished his executive position after 13 months “to make room for personal priorities,” Stephen Forshaw, a spokesman for Temasek said in an e-mailed statement today. The former chief executive officer of Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) will continue with his non-executive responsibilities as a Temasek board member, and chairman of Fullerton Fund Management Company Ltd., ST Asset Management Ltd. and the Stewardship and Corporate Governance Centre, which is backed by the investment firm.
Temasek has faced changes at the top in the past two years since it parted ways with former BHP Billiton Ltd. head Charles “Chip” Goodyear, who was going to replace Ho Ching as CEO, over differences in strategy. Hsieh’s former counterpart, Simon Israel, Temasek’s former executive director and president, retired from his executive and board roles in July.
“If you have too many changes in too short a span of time, it can’t be good for the organization,” said Melvyn Teo, professor of finance at Singapore Management University. “Especially in the kind of organization like Temasek, which takes a long-term view on their investments, it’s important to have a stable pool of senior management at the helm.”
The firm, which managed S$193 billion ($147 billion) as of March 31, last year named Hsieh as president, along with Israel and Gregory Curl, once a candidate for CEO of Bank of America Corp. Curl will remain as Temasek’s only president, said Forshaw.
Temasek has hired executives and made internal promotions effective Oct. 1, Forshaw said.
“Executive movements in Temasek are part of our continual efforts to further strengthen our talent pool and deepen our leadership bench strength, both from within and from external hires,” Forshaw said in the statement.
Chia Song Hwee, former chief operating officer of Globalfoundries Inc., will join Temasek as co-head of portfolio management, Forshaw said. Tan Chong Lee, previously the head of corporate and investment banking in Southeast Asia at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit in Singapore, will join as chief investment officer-designate, the spokesman said.
Manish Kejriwal decided to step down as head of Temasek India to “explore a new fund platform” in the South Asian nation and will continue to support the state-investment firm as an adviser, Forshaw said. Rohit Sipahimalani, Kejriwal’s co-head in India, will take the helm.
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