Temasek said to hire Morgan Stanley’s M&A executive Popper

Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-owned investment company, hired Morgan Stanley (MS) Managing Director Jonathan Popper, said two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified.

Mr. Popper’s exact title at Temasek could not be learned, but he is understood to be handling mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Popper oversaw M&A in Southeast Asia for Morgan Stanley, where he has worked since 2001. Nick Footitt, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, confirmed Mr. Popper will be leaving the firm, declining to comment further.

Temasek, which managed S$198 billion ($160 billion) of assets as of March 31, said in June it’s seeking investment opportunities as the turmoil in Europe might result in a market slump rivaling the 2008 global financial crisis.

In the past 18 months, the fund has made other senior hires from global investment banks, including Boon Sim, Credit Suisse Group’s ex-global head of mergers and acquisitions; John Cryan, UBS’ former chief financial officer; and Tan Chong Lee, former head of corporate and investment banking in Southeast Asia at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit.

Messrs. Sim and Cryan are now Temasek’s presidents for North America and Europe, respectively, while Mr. Tan is its chief investment officer.

Temasek spokesman Tan Yong Meng declined to comment on Mr. Popper’s hiring. Mr. Popper didn’t respond to a call and a text message to his mobile phone seeking comment on the move.