Temasek taps former SGX head as advisor to Ho Ching

February 18, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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Saeed Azhar

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings has hired a former head of the Singapore Exchange as special advisor to Ho Ching, the sovereign fund’s chief executive.

Hsieh Fu Hua, who joined Temasek’s board on Feb. 1 as non-executive director, will help “support management in leadership development and talent management”, according to a company statement on Wednesday.

Hsieh stepped down as chief executive of SGX, Asia’s second-biggest listed bourse, last year after serving it for six years.

Temasek, which manages a portfolio of S$172 billion ($123 billion), is recovering from a volatile 2009 when it lost billions of dollars on investments in Western banks such as Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, and its attempt to hire its first foreign CEO foundered.

Former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear was named in early 2009 as the designated successor to Ho, who is the wife of Singapore’s prime minister, but Goodyear resigned even before he took office, citing differences over strategy.

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said last year that Temasek had not set a deadline to replace Ho despite Goodyear’s surprise departure.

In the latest statement Temasek also said Michael Lien, who is executive director of a Singapore-based family office Wah Hin & Co, also joined as non-executive director.

With their appointments, the Temasek board now comprises nine non-executive directors out of a total of 11 board members, it said.