Hong Kong-listed developer Kerry Properties waited until the city was transfixed with the arrival of a visitor from the north to announce the departure of its chief financial officer after a brief stint on the company’s board.
The developer controlled by the family of Shangri-La Hotels tycoon Robert Kuok said on Thursday afternoon that Serene Nah, who was promoted to an executive director position on Kerry Properties’ board on 15 October last year, has resigned from the firm effective 31 August.
Now 42, Nah is said to be leaving the firm for personal reasons, after first joining Kerry as chief strategy officer in October 2019 and being promoted to CFO in August 2020.
The company says it is in the process of recruiting a new chief financial officer, and that, in the interim between Nah’s resignation and the hiring of a replacement, Dennis Au Hing Lam, who joined the developer in May as deputy chief financial officer and executive director, will be overseeing finance operations at Kerry.
Having served as head of portfolio management for Asia at SilverLake Partners before joining Kerry, Nah helped the developer to achieve profit attributable to shareholders last year, before fair value change of investment properties, of HK$6.2 billion, which was up 48 percent from 2020 on a revenue increase of just 6 percent.
Known for its chain of six Kerry Center mixed-use properties in mainland China, Kerry Properties saw its share price hold steady last year to finish 2021 at HK$20.30 per share after starting 2021 at HK$19.64. The stock closed the day on Thursday at HK$21.80 per share.
Nah’s resignation is the second change to Kerry Properties’ board to be announced in just over a month after the company informed the Hong Kong exchange on 24 May that Au would be joining as deputy CEO that same day.
Now 62, Au, who also serves on the board’s executive and finance committees, had previously served as managing director for real estate at Chinachem Group in Hong Kong before resigning in April. He also has experience with listed developer Wing Tai Properties.
Also in May, Kuok Khoon Hua was formally elected as chairman of Kerry Properties at the company’s annual general meeting, with the youngest son of the company founder continuing in his role as chief executive.
At the same meeting, former Bain Capital partner Cheung Leong and Sands China executive Grant Chum Kwan Lock were appointed as independent, non-executive directors on Kerry’s board.
GE Capital and Life-Coaching
Certified as a life coach and having worked as a yoga trainer in her spare time, Nah is a graduate of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Having been named as an independent, non-executive director of Warburg Pincus-backed ESR in April, Nah also spent a decade with General Electric, including serving as CFO of GE Capital Greater China from 2008 through 2011.