Temasek Names Jimmy Phoon as CEO of Seatown Starting Aug. 1

Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd Head of Strategy Jimmy Phoon
Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd senior managing director of strategy Jimmy Phoon. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, named Jimmy Phoon as chief executive officer of its Seatown Holdings Pte unit.

Phoon, who’s head of strategy at Temasek, will take the appointment starting Aug. 1, Temasek said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Phoon replaces co-CEOs Nasser Ahmad, a founder of DiMaio Ahmad Capital LLC, and Charles Ong, also Temasek’s senior managing director of special projects, who will continue in that role, Temasek said.

Ong and Ahmad joined Seatown to help build up the firm that was set up in August 2009. Seatown, funded with more than S$4 billion ($3.3 billion) from Temasek, or 2 percent of the sovereign investment company’s holdings, has deployed about half of the capital in assets worldwide, two people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month.

“Seatown will continue to build on its foundation and all the good work that has been put in place over the past year,” Temasek said in the statement. “Its mandate and strategy as an investor does not change with this leadership transition.”

Seatown, which makes investment decisions independently from Temasek, will pursue deals with institutional co-investors by 2015 and may add retail investors by 2020, Temasek said a year ago.

Phoon, 47, will retain his position as Temasek’s head of strategy, Temasek said. He rejoined Temasek in 2008, after resigning as the company’s chief investment officer in 2007, according to his profile on the firm’s website. Ahmad will stay on as an adviser to Seatown until the end of the year, the company said.

‘Not Unusual’

“It’s not unusual for our senior management to hold more than one responsibility at Temasek,” Temasek said. “This serves the group well, and broadens management capabilities within the group.”

While Temasek holds mainly equities and focuses on Asia, Seatown’s investments are more diversified both in terms of geography and assets, the sovereign firm said last year. Temasek, which means sea town in Javanese, is an ancient name of Singapore dating from the 15th century.

Temasek said this month the value of its assets climbed 3.8 percent to a record S$193 billion in the year to March 31, and profit more than doubled on increased contributions from its holdings. The Singapore-based company invested more in emerging markets including China, India, Brazil and Mexico, as developing nations led the global economy’s recovery from its worst recession since World War II.

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