Sherman Kwek is CDL's deputy CEO

Mr Sherman Kwek (left) is the son of CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng.
Mr Sherman Kwek (above) is the son of CDL executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng.

Property firm City Developments (CDL) has named the son of real estate tycoon Kwek Leng Beng as its deputy chief executive officer, amid other managerial changes announced yesterday.

Mr Sherman Kwek Eik Tse took up the position yesterday and, at the same time, relinquished his roles as CDL chief investment officer and the chief executive of its wholly-owned unit CDL China.

Mr Kwek's father is CDL executive chairman and one of Asia's most successful real estate magnates. He has helped shape CDL's growth over the years, turning a family business into a global enterprise. In 1972, the senior Mr Kwek, then a young executive at Hong Leong Group, led the acquisition of a controlling stake in CDL. He played a key role in growing the firm's hotel business.

CDL said in the statement yesterday that in his past roles Mr Sherman Kwek, 40, "had established a presence for the group in Japan and Australia, as well as spearheaded the expansion and development of the group's projects in China, helping to obtain prime sites in Shanghai, Suzhou and Chongqing".

It added that as deputy CEO, he will continue to lead the investment team to source for new opportunities, and drive the growth of CDL's international portfolio.

CDL chief executive Grant Kelley said in the statement: "We aim to strengthen our capabilities and drive productivity, as we ramp up our diversification plans and position the company for expansion of both the international and funds management platforms."

DBS Group Research analyst Derek Tan told The Straits Times yesterday: "It's a positive move for the group, given that business continuity has been a key question that investors have been asking for a long time.

"With the current CEO Grant Kelley still assisting and guiding him, the challenge for Sherman is to step out of his dad's shadows and spearhead the group."

Mr Ong Kian Lin, research head at RHB Research Institute (Singapore), said Mr Kwek could focus on driving CDL's overseas business. "They are sitting on a fair bit of cash, which can be directed to other investments overseas," he added.

In other managerial changes yesterday, CDL named Ms Yiong Yim Ming as new chief financial officer. Ms Yiong, 42, was the senior vice-president for group accounts (subsidiaries and joint ventures). She replaces previous chief financial officer Goh Ann Nee, who resigned in January.

Mr Kwek Leng Beng's nephew, Mr Kwek Eik Sheng, 34, was appointed as head of asset management on top of his current role as the firm's chief strategy officer.

CDL said the appointments reflect the firm's "commitment to groom leaders internally".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Sherman Kwek is CDL's deputy CEO'. Print Edition | Subscribe