City Developments picks new CEO from outside Kwek family

The weak property market in Singapore has prompted one of Singapore's biggest property developers to make changes to its top management.

Property giant City Developments (CDL) said on Thursday that Mr Kwek Leng Joo, its managing director, will move to the post of deputy chairman.

The mainboard-listed firm also for the first time appointed a new chief executive officer who is not related to the Kwek family - Mr Grant Kelley, who was previously with a private equity fund.

Both of these appointments will take effect on Feb 17.

"These appointments will help strengthen and deepen the expertise of our management team as we shift gears and look outwards to capitalise on growth markets," executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng said in a statement.

"We need to be less Singapore-centric in light of limited opportunities domestically."

CDL said that Mr Kwek Leng Joo, 60, would assist Mr Kwek Leng Beng and undertake any other roles assigned by the board.

He will also focus on product innovation while continuing to provide leadership on corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives and corporate governance matters, it said.

He joined the CDL board in 1980 and became the firm's managing director in 1995.

Mr Kelley, 49, was previously head of real estate for the Asia Pacific region at private equity fund Apollo Global Management.

CDL said he has over 20 years of international experience in corporate strategy, private equity and real estate investment.

He will be responsible for the group's business direction, overall development and management of its businesses.