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Singapore PM wife to step down as Temasek chief
Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara to succeed Ho Ching from October 1
9 Feb 2021 | The Asset
Ho Ching and Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara
Ho Ching and Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara

Corporate lawyer Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara will succeed Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as executive director and chief executive officer of Temasek Holdings from October 1, the company announced on Tuesday (February 9).

Ho, 67, will retire from the investment group and step down from its board on the same date. Sandrasegara will concurrently hold his current appointment as CEO of Temasek International.

Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng says: “Leadership succession is a strategic responsibility of the board. We have had in place an annual review since the early 2000s. This is to enable the board to be prepared for all eventualities, with various succession options over different time horizons.

“Ho Ching has been very much part of this process. Indeed, she has been very active, working over the years to identify various potential successors both inside and outside of Temasek. She has also played a key role in nurturing a strong leadership bench in Temasek, several of whom have gone on to CEO appointments beyond Temasek.”

Announcing the leadership transition to the staff, Lim paid tribute to Ho’s contributions to the company’s growth over the past two decades. “She has led Temasek through a remarkable period of transformation. We have evolved from a relatively passive owner of the shares in former government-owned companies in Singapore to a globally-recognized and respected investor, forward looking institution and trusted steward.”

When Ho was first appointed CEO in 2004, Temasek’s portfolio stood at S$90 billion mostly in Singapore. The portfolio has since tripled to over S$300 billion (US$226 billion), notwithstanding the impact of the global financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, Lim notes.

Speaking of Sandrasegara, Lim says: “Already established as one of the leading corporate lawyers heading a major law firm, Dilhan joined Temasek 10 years ago with a sense of mission and purpose. He brought with him a wealth of experience, a rich network across the region, a keen sense of markets and commercial discipline, and above all, a commitment to build and transform people and organizations for the longer term, as well as to embed culture and values for a greater purpose.

“Since then, he has played several critical roles in Temasek, including a two-year stint as head, Americas, based out of New York. He was appointed CEO of Temasek International in 2019. In that role, he has been responsible for the investor role of Temasek, managing the investment and portfolio activities of Temasek.”

Lee Theng Kiat will also retire from his executive role at Temasek Holdings. He will remain a non-executive member of the board and continue as non-executive chairman of Temasek International.

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