There will be a number of familiar faces in new roles at GIC come the start of the year as Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund made a spate of senior leadership appointments that will take effect at the start of 2017. The most notable change will see Lim Chow Kiat take over as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer replacing the retiring Group President Lim Siong Guan.
The current Chief Investment Officer has been with the firm since 1993 after joining GIC straight out of university. Lim rose to Deputy Group Chief Investment in 2012 before assuming his current role in 2013. Another GIC veteran, Jeffrey Jaensubhakij, has been promoted to Lim’s former CIO role. He had been serving as Deputy Group Chief Investment Officer and President, Public Markets.
As part of the revamp, Deputy Group Chief Investment Officer and Director, Integrated Strategies Group Lim Kee Chong has been appointed President (Americas) and Deputy Group Chief Investment Officer Tay Lim Hock was named President (Europe). The new roles are concurrent of their current duties.
GIC also announced that roles of President of Public Markets, President of Private Equity & Infrastructure, and President of Real Estate would be retired with five Chief Investment Officers named to fulfill these duties.
“As Group President since 2007, Mr Lim has made enormous contributions to GIC. He groomed a new generation of professional leaders, built up a fit and flexible organizational structure, and imbued the GIC team with sound values and ideals. Mr Lim’s time at GIC coincided with an extremely challenging period for global markets,” Singapore Prime Minister and Chairman of GIC, Lee Hsien Loong, said.
GIC Braces For Slowing Returns
When Lim takes over his new role at the start of the new year, he will be presented with a challenge as the sovereign wealth fund copes with decreasing returns. Earlier this year, GIC revealed it is bracing for a low yield environment with only modest growth prospects likely. Lim will be tasked with guiding the fund through this possibly rocky period.
“We still don’t really know what the fallout from Brexit is going to be like, and we are still speculating about the impact of a Trump presidency on global markets, including Singapore,” CIMB Private Bank economist Song Seng Wun told the Straits Times. “In this day and age of increasing volatility and low growth, being able to deal with the uncertainty of the markets is going to be very important.”
A November To Remember For GIC
GIC, which currently manages US$344 billion in assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, has been busy in November completing a number of transactions in addition to prepping for a new CEO.
The firm spent $136 million to acquire an interest in G-Square City Retail Complex located in the suburbs of Seoul as it attempts to find more stable, income-generating assets.
GIC also made a massive logistics play at the start of the month, purchasing P3 Logistic Parks for €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) from TPG Real Estate and Ivanhoé Cambridge. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund acquired 163 warehouses in 62 locations across Europe as part of the deal.