Singapore’s biggest home builder, City Developments Limited (CDL) announced a pair of new executive appointments this week as it created a pair of new business units to strengthen its commercial division and re-engineer its development process.
The owner of Republic Plaza at Singapore’s Raffles Place has brought on board CapitaLand veteran Yvonne Ong as Chief Executive Officer for Commercial to lead its newly created Asset Management Division.
Ong, who previously served as head of global asset management at CapitaLand Commercial, joins CDL effective June 6.
Lee to Lead New Development Division
CDL is also promoting one of its own executives, Lee Mei Ling, to Executive Vice President and Head of Property Development where she will lead the company’s newly-formed Property Development Division from June 1. Lee currently holds the role of Senior Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing at CDL.
The executive appointments and restructuring come just a few months after CDL set up a real estate fund management business, appointing former AXA Investment Managers executive Frank Khoo as group chief investment officer to build the new platform this past January. Sherman Kwek, the elder son of CDL chairman Kwek Leng Beng, took over from Grant Kelley as group CEO in the same month.
Both of the new divisions will report to Chia Ngiang Hong, CDL Group General Manager.
CDL Presses on with Restructuring Drive
“CDL is repositioning our business for the future, with a focus on growth, enhancement and transformation,” commented Kwek in a statement on Monday. “To achieve this, we must continue to strengthen our leadership talent and capabilities. Our new, integrated organisational structure will foster stronger alignment, multidisciplinary collaborations and synergies across operating departments for our core businesses of asset management and property development.”
CDL, which has a market capitalisation of S$10.5 billion ($7.8 billion), has a portfolio of over 18 million square feet of commercial and residential properties globally and has developed over 40,000 homes. Earlier this month the developer of some of Singapore’s biggest commercial projects took a step into the world of co-working by opening a 62,000 square foot flexible office centre in Republic Plaza.
Asset Management Team Takes Over Commercial Duties
The newly-minted Asset Management Division merges the various interlinked departments involved in investment properties, namely leasing, property and facilities management and customer service. As the division’s leader, Ong “will spearhead asset management strategies to drive the performance of CDL’s global portfolio of office, retail, industrial and residential leased assets,” according to the statement.
Ong, who is a Chartered Financial Analyst, worked at Southeast Asia’s largest developer CapitaLand Limited from 2011 to 2018. Prior to that, she served as head of real estate at the manager of Cambridge Industrial Trust (now ESR-REIT), overseeing investment and asset management strategies and the property management team.
Residential Veteran Takes Charge of Development
CDL is setting up its development division under Lee with Kwek noting that the company veteran “will be responsible for the full spectrum of the project development cycle.”
Under Lee’s leadership, CDL’s Property Development Division will fuse all departments involved in the development of the firm’s properties in Singapore, including projects, sales and marketing, customer service, and property management. The restructured business line will cover the entire life-span of a CDL development project, from advising on land bids to project design, managing construction and providing after-sales service.
Lee joined CDL in 2004 and has played a key role in the group’s residential property launches, with responsibility for marketing and sales strategies. She has 30 years of industry experience and previously worked at First Capital Corporation Ltd for 10 years, leading the marketing and sales department of the developer now known as GuocoLand Ltd.