Temasek Hires Goldman Veteran Vaske to Oversee Americas Push

  • Vaske was most recently co-chairman of Goldman’s global M&A
  • Temasek plans San Francisco office to scout tech investments

Temasek Holdings Pte., Singapore’s state-owned investment firm, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s John Vaske to oversee its push into North America.

Vaske, most recently a co-chairman of global mergers and acquisitions at Goldman, will start as joint head of North America at Temasek International Jan. 16, the company said in a statement on its website late Thursday. Dilhan Pillay, the current Americas head, will continue to provide oversight on Temasek’s investment activities in North and Latin America, the company said.

Temasek is reshaping its investment mix amid feeble global growth and elevated market volatility. As part of that shift, Temasek is stepping up investments in the U.S. and Canada and said in July it plans to open an office in San Francisco this year to scout for tech investment opportunities. It already has an office in New York.

During the fiscal year ended March 31, Temasek loaded up on stakes in U.S. pharmaceutical and health-care firms including Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., which develop treatments for serious medical conditions. The share of North America investments increased to 10 percent of Temasek’s portfolio as of March, up from 8 percent two years earlier.

The investment firm also reported in July that as a group, technology, media and telcos overtook financial firms as its biggest industry sector for the first time in a decade.

Vaske joined Goldman in 1988 as an analyst with the mergers and acquisitions team in New York and subsequently worked in Tokyo and London, according to the statement. He returned to New York as co-chairman of Goldman’s natural resources group in 2010, and assumed his most recent post in 2015.

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