Singapore—The biggest news on Tuesday morning (Feb 9) has been the resignation of Madam Ho Ching as CEO and executive director of Temasek Holdings, effective Oct 1.
She will be succeeded by Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, who will keep his current position as Chief Executive Officer of Temasek International (TI), the firm’s investment arm.
He has held this position since 2019.
Temasek is one of the largest investors around the globe.
The value of the company’s portfolio was S$306 billion dollars (US$230 billion), as of March 31, 2020.
The impending change in leadership was made known via a statement to the media from Temasek Holdings, which also said that Mr Lee Theng Kiat will continue as Temasek Board Member and Chairman of Temasek International.
The announcement has sparked interest in the man who will step into the shoes of Madam Ho, although it hardly comes as a surprise after the March 2019 announcement that he would succeed Mr Lee Theng Kiat and Mdm Ho as CEO and Chairman of Temasek International (TI) respectively, as part of the company’s leadership succession plan.
Mr Pillay is a corporate lawyer who has been with Temasek since September 2010.
Before that, he was the Managing Partner of WongPartnership LLP, one of the largest law firms in Singapore, where he was joined by his younger brother, Mr Manoj Pillay Sandrasegara.
The incoming Temasek Holdings CEO has had more than two decades of legal experience and mainly focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and corporate law.
At Temasek, he held a number of important positions, including Head of the Investment, Portfolio Management, and Enterprise Development Groups. Additionally, he led market teams that covered Singapore, the US, and the Americas, and was based out of New York for two years.
Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman of Temasek Holdings, wrote in the company’s statement on Tuesday, that Mr Pillay “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 organisations for the longer term, as well as to embed culture and values for a greater purpose.”
He added, “As CEO of Temasek Holdings, Dilhan will have the responsibility for the Stewardship role of Temasek, particularly in respect of Temasek’s Constitutional responsibilities to safeguard its own past reserves.”
Mdm Ho expressed confidence in the new CEO in the statement as well.
“I know Dilhan will take Temasek to the next level. He brings solid values, a decade of experience in the firm, on top of a wealth of experience prior to joining Temasek. More importantly, he has also brought fresh ideas that are essential to sustaining any organisation. I have full confidence in Dilhan and his team to transform Temasek once again, to be more than it is today.”
Mr Pillay, 67, is married to Ms Chan Su Chan.
He studied at the National University of Singapore (Bachelor of Laws) and the University of Cambridge (Master of Laws).
He speaks English and Malay, and is a member of the International Bar Association; the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, and the Singapore Institute of Directors.
Mr Pillay also served as a Trustee of the Singapore Management University and as a member of the Advisory Board of its Law School. He was on the board of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore.
Interestingly, he is a member of the Steering Committee for Review of the Companies Act, which was appointed by the Minister of Finance to undertake a complete review of the Singapore Companies Act and the Design Committee for the Corporatisation of Changi Airport and Restructuring of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
In the past, Mr Pillay served on several statutory and corporate boards, including Jurong Town Corporation, Sentosa Development Corporation, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd and SMRT Corporation Ltd.
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