The revolving door continues to whirl at Singapore’s real estate investment trusts, with OUE Commercial REIT becoming the latest to announce the resignation of its top executive.
Tan Shu Lin, who has served as chief executive and executive director at the trust for eight years, will step down on 30 November to “pursue other opportunities”, OUE Commercial REIT Management said Friday in a filing with the Singapore Exchange.
“A successor CEO is being identified and an announcement will follow in due course,” the manager said. Tan is the third chief executive of an SGX-listed trust to resign from the top job in the last two months, following departures at Keppel REIT and AIMS APAC REIT.
The trust, which holds core Singapore office assets such as One Raffles Place and hotels including the Mandarin Orchard Singapore, reported a 3.1 percent drop in its net property income during the first half of 2021 compared with the year-earlier period. That slide in income came after the REIT sold a half-stake in its OUE Bayfront office block to a fund invested by Allianz Group and South Korea’s National Pension Service for S$634 million ($477 million) early this year.
Longtime Portfolio Manager
The 48-year-old Tan has held responsibility for the strategic management, growth and operation of OUE Commercial REIT, which is sponsored by the Singapore-listed OUE group controlled by Indonesian-Chinese tycoon Stephen Riady. The trust’s portfolio comprises seven properties in the commercial and hospitality segments in Singapore and in Shanghai, with a total asset value of S$6.8 billion ($5 billion).
Before entering her current role in 2013, Tan worked at Ascendas Funds Management, the manager of Ascendas REIT, where she was Singapore portfolio head and capital markets and transactions head from 2008.
From 2007 to 2008, Tan was with the wealth management division of UBS as director of real estate investment management. Her earlier career was spent at Ascendas (since merged with CapitaLand), where she held various positions engaged in sourcing and structuring potential investment opportunities, and at various banks where her duties included advising companies on capital market transactions and other fundraising exercises.
Tan, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Portsmouth, oversaw the 2019 merger of OUE Commercial REIT with OUE Hospitality Trust, which made the combined REIT one of Singapore’s largest with a market capitalisation of S$2.9 billion. On Wednesday, OUE Commercial REIT closed trading with a market cap of S$1.3 billion.
A game of musical chairs appears to have broken out at some of the leading S-REITs.
Tan’s resignation follows Keppel REIT’s announcement in late August that Paul Tham would step down as chief executive of the trust’s manager on 20 October to pursue other opportunities. Tham’s exit marked the second sudden departure by a CEO of the trust’s manager in less than four years, after Jesline Goh served just 28 days in the position in early 2017.
In early September, AIMS APAC REIT revealed that Wee Lih Koh was stepping down as chief executive to “pursue other professional interests”, to be succeeded by Russell Ng. Later that month, Koh emerged as Paul Tham’s replacement as Keppel REIT CEO.