Real estate magnate Chua Thian Poh has officially handed day to day control of listed developer Ho Bee Land to his son Nicholas Chua, as the luxury residential developer prepares for a new generation of leadership.
Also known as Chua Wee-Chern, the 45-year-old property scion will join Ho Bee’s board on 1 January as an executive director after serving as deputy chief executive since 2018, and will also replace his 73-year-old father as chief executive on that same day, according to an announcement on Tuesday.
“Nicholas has performed well in his capacity as deputy CEO,” said Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, the lead independent director of Ho Bee Land. “The board has reviewed the recommendation of the nominating committee and believes that he is ready to assume the CEO position and take on additional responsibilities as part of the group’s leadership succession planning.”
In addition to giving up his CEO title, Chua Thian Poh, who founded Ho Bee Land in 1987 and led its listing on the stock exchange in 1999, is updating his board position from chairman to executive chairman.
A New Chua Takes Over
Chua Thian Poh, who was ranked by Forbes as Singapore’s 34th richest person earlier this year, will now focus on leading Ho Bee’s growth strategies the company said, while also ensuring its compliance with regard to environmental, social and corporate governance concerns.
As one of Chua Thian Poh’s two sons, Nicholas Chua has been groomed to head Ho Bee Land — which had assets under management of S$6.6 billion ($4.9 billion) at the end of last year — since joining the company in 2002. Prior to taking on the deputy chief executive role, the University of Oregon graduate had served as Ho Bee’s group director of business development.
The younger Chua led the developer’s expansion in Australia and China during his three-year stint as deputy chief, where he also led the team that grew Ho Bee Land’s footprint in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Just last week Ho Bee revealed that it had agreed to spend A$142 million ($105 million) to acquire a former HNA asset in Melbourne which it plans to develop as a residential project. In March this year the company had committed A$103.7 million to purchase two housing plots in Victoria and a third in Queensland during March this year.
Aside from leading the family property empire, Nicholas Chua is also the chairman of the family’s charity institution Chua Foundation along with his youngest sister Chua Thiam Chok who is also a board member.
Finance Veteran Exits
At the same time that the Chua family implements its succession plan, the developer of such projects as the Turquoise at Singapore’s Sentosa Cove also saw one of its leaders exit, with Ho Bee Land executive director Desmond Woon Choon Leng retiring at the age of 66 to take on a senior advisor role.
“I would like to thank Desmond for his professionalism and dedication in assisting me to grow the company during the past 34 years,” Chua Thian Poh said.
Woon will be leaving the executive director position he held since 1995 where he has led the corporate governance and finance functions, including being part of the team which led Ho Bee’s SGX listing more than two decades ago.
Aside from its high-end residential properties in Singapore’s Sentosa island, Ho Bee has made investments across key markets in Australia, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.