Keppel REIT Management is saying goodbye to long-time chair of the board Dr Audrey Chin Wei-Li, and hello to new chief, Penny Goh who’s soon to take the helm at the manager of the S$3.5 billion ($2.5 billion) Singapore-listed real estate investment trust. Keppel announced on Wednesday that Goh would be taking over from Chin, who is officially resigning this week after more than 12 years on the board and nearly five years as chair.
Tan Chin Hwee, a director since 2010, will also step down from the board after serving for almost seven years and Professor Tan Cheng Han will be giving up his seat on the board to take up an appointment as chair of Singapore Exchange Regulation Pte Ltd.
Officially taking over as chair on April 22, Goh has been a non-executive and independent director for Keppel REIT Management since 2016 and is a co-chair and senior partner at Allen & Gledhill LLP, a leading law firm in Singapore. As partner at the firm, Goh headed the corporate real estate department and regularly acted for listed corporations, private equity funds and real estate investment trusts. Among her many roles, Goh is also the lead independent director of Mapletree Logistics Trust Management where she chairs its nominating and remuneration committee.
An affiliate of Keppel Group, the commercial REIT owns office properties in office properties Ocean including the Ocean Financial Centre and the Marina Bay Financial Centre in its home city of Singapore, as well as holding several Australian assets. The listed trust this week announced a first quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.45 Singaporean cents, down 13.7 percent from the same period a year ago after net property income slid 4.6 percent to S$31.4 million during the period.
Following the reshuffle, the board of Keppel REIT Management will have seven members, four of them independent directors.
Jesline Goh, the One-Month CEO
The change in Keppel REIT’s board structure comes just over a month after the trust went through some abrupt changes in its senior management, including the rapid departture of CEO Jesline Goh after just 28 days on the job. Formerly of Perennial Real Estate Holdings and CapitaLand, Jesline Goh was announced as CEO of the REIT manager on January 9th and took the reins on February 1st. Goh’s departure, which was announced by Keppel REIT on March 1st, was said to allow her “to pursue other career opportunities.”
The rapid management succession was revealed in a series of announcements to the stock exchange. Tan Swee Yiow stepped stepped back in as Chief Executive Officer on March 20 at Keppel REIT Management after Jesline Goh’s fast departure.
Keppel REIT is sponsored by developer Keppel Land – which recently opened its doors to a joint-venture office building in Myanmar, and is one of the largest REITs listed on the Singapore Exchange, with eight premium office assets across Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.