Singapore’s GIC Appoints Lim Chow Kiat CEO

  • Lim Siong Guan retires as president, Jaensubhakij named CIO
  • GIC has warned low rates, slow growth will weigh on returns

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte has appointed 23-year veteran Lim Chow Kiat as chief executive officer amid expectations feeble global growth will dampen returns.

Lim, 46, who joined the fund in 1993, will assume the newly created CEO role on Jan. 1, and Jeffrey Jaensubhakij, 50, will replace him as group chief investment officer, GIC said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Lim Siong Guan, 69, will retire as group president and be appointed adviser to the GIC group executive committee.

“GIC has a long-standing policy of cultivating talent in-house and promoting investment staff accordingly,” said Enrico Soddu, head of data at the London-based Sovereign Wealth Center. Lim “was already a very well-known and respected CIO among government funds and sovereign wealth funds,” he said.

The leadership changes come as GIC has warned that record-low interest rates and subdued global growth will weigh on investment returns in the coming decade. The fund in July said a key measure of returns fell to 4 percent in the 20-year period to March 31, from 4.9 percent in the period ended March 2015, as global stock markets posted lackluster performance and bond returns tumbled.

Work History

After joining GIC upon graduating from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, Lim rose to head of the fixed income, currency and commodities department as well as deputy president of GIC Asset Management in 2008. From 2009 until 2011, he oversaw GIC’s investments and relationships in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He became deputy group chief investment officer in 2012, group CIO the following year and assumed his role as deputy group president in June.

GIC earlier this year elevated key members who were given new roles on Monday, including Jaensubhakij. The role of deputy group CIO will be shared by Tay Lim Hock and Lim Kee Chong, who will also take on leadership roles in London and New York, respectively. Goh Kok Huat will continue as chief operating officer.

The responsibilities of Jaensubhakij, Tay and Goh will be taken over by five executives who were appointed chief investment officers in their areas on June 1, GIC said in the statement.

GIC doesn’t disclose the size of its assets under management, saying only that it manages “well over” $100 billion. The Sovereign Wealth Center puts its total holdings at $354 billion, making it the world’s sixth-biggest state fund.

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