Singapore's sovereign wealth funds are shuffling senior management to help navigate choppy global markets.
Temasek Holdings said Tuesday that Boon Sim, its Americas president, is leaving as it appointed two new presidents in the latest management reorganization to help it navigate “challenging global times.”
GIC said last week it gave Lim Chow Kiat, group chief investment officer, the additional title of deputy group president as part of a leadership shuffle appointing seven managers to new roles.
The changes at the top echelons of Singapore's sovereign wealth funds come amid intense market volatility as concerns about slowing global growth coincided with uncertainty on the timing of Federal Reserve interest rate increases. Markets around the world have swung between gains and losses in recent months, and the Shanghai Composite index has declined 16% this year to rank among the worst-performing major benchmarks.
“Together with changes at GIC, we will look at it as a kind of review at the top levels” of Singapore's sovereign wealth funds, said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking in Singapore, of the leadership revamp at Temasek. “It's been five years of below-trend global growth and volatility in the financial markets, so the worry is this period of subnormal growth will persist for much longer than before.”
Chia Song Hwee and Dilhan Pillay have been named Temasek presidents, and the fund will reallocate some functions across groups to strengthen the focus and improve collaboration, it said in a statement Tuesday. It will bring together its sector and market investment teams under a single investment group, create a new portfolio strategy and risk group, as well as a new sustainability and stewardship group.
Mr. Chia joined Temasek in 2011 and is joint head for Singapore as well as the investment group and portfolio management group, according to Temasek's website. Mr. Pillay joined Temasek in 2010 and is head of Americas and also joint head of Singapore as well as the fund's enterprise development group and investment group.
Mr. Sim, who was also head of Temasek's markets group and head of its credit portfolio, according to the fund's 2015 annual review, is leaving May 1. He will become advisory senior director and continue helping the sovereign wealth fund strengthen its network in the U.S., serve on some boards and advise on projects, the fund said in an e-mailed statement in response to Bloomberg queries.
Mr. Sim indicated a desire to relinquish his executive positions since the end of last year for personal and family reasons, Temasek said. He didn't answer a call seeking comment.
North America and Europe made up 17% of Temasek's country exposure in the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, an increase from 14% the previous year, as the value of its holdings rose 19% to a record S$266 billion ($196 billion). Singapore accounted for 28%, and Asia ex-Singapore made up 42% of its geographic exposure.
Temasek will also appoint Fidah Alsagoff, Michael Buchanan, Png Chin Yee and Juliet Teo as senior managing directors, it said. The appointments take effect May 1.
There will be some changes in responsibilities among senior members of the team, the fund said.
Temasek is “reinforcing the message that we have talents in Singapore,” said CIMB's Mr. Song. “While we want the best out there, what has been proven is that there are also talents here and now they are being given a chance.”