Saturday, February 07, 2009

Tectonics at Temasek

Singapore's second largest sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, has announced its chief executive's resignation. Ms Ho is the wife of the PM and current CEO. Her replacement is former mining magnate Chip Goodyear, formerly at BHP Biliton. Ms Ho is leaving after years of restructuring Temasek to be more publicly accountable. But the credit crunch has hurt Temasek, which has 40 percent of its fund in financial services.
Mr Goodyear was at BHP from 1999 to 2007 and analysts said yesterday that he was likely to take Temasek into the commodities and mining sector. The group has almost no holdings in this area at the moment. Mr Goodyear will be the first foreigner to run Temasek, which was set up by the Singaporean government in 1974 and is still 100pc state-owned. The senior team includes Simon Israel, a New Zealander who was recruited to Temasek from running the Asian operation of food group Danone.
This is a sea change for Temasek. They are acknowledging that the financial services market, the unreal market, is doomed. The real economy of primary and secondary industry, the tools of infrastructure, are to the fore. Then there's the lossening of power by the Lee family. Sure, they'll retain their clout, but they're pulling out of the running of these things.

And can we timeshare some of that kiwi talent somehow?