CapitaLand forms new executive committee, business structure after Ascendas-Singbridge acquisition

A view of Capitol Tower. CapitaLand's acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge is on track for completion in end June 2019. PHOTO: CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE - Property giant CapitaLand is setting up a new executive committee to provide strategic business planning, organisational alignment and implementation as it reorganises following its mega Ascendas-Singbridge acquisition.

The new committee, led by CapitaLand group CEO Lee Chee Koon, will include several top executives from Ascendas-Singbridge, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday morning (May 27) before the market opened.

CapitaLand's acquisition of Temasek-owned Ascendas-Singbridge, meanwhile, is on track for completion by end-June this year. It will propel the company into one of Asia's largest diversified real estate groups with over $123 billion of assets under management.

The enlarged group, which covers CapitaLand's commercial, retail; business park, industrial and logistics; integrated development, urban development; and residential businesses, will be organised along geographical lines covering Singapore, China, India, Vietnam and other developed markets. The group's lodging business, and fund and asset management business, will be organised as standalone sectors.

Current deputy group CEO of Ascendas-Singbridge Manohar Khiatani has been appointed as senior executive director of CapitaLand. He will assist Mr Lee in matters regarding organisation integration, as well as its India and business parks businesses.

Jonathan Yap, currently group chief operating officer and group chief financial officer of Ascendas-Singbridge, will be appointed president, CapitaLand Financial. He will oversee the group's Reits and business trusts; private and third-party funds and the group's India business.

He Jihong, currently chief investment officer of Ascendas-Singbridge, will join as chief corporate strategy officer of CapitaLand. She will identify strategic business focus areas and work closely with businesses to formulate corporate strategies for the group's long-term sustainable business results.

CapitaLand chief business innovation officer Lynette Leong will take on the role of chief sustainability officer, responsible for the group's sustainability strategy and policies. She will integrate these policies into the group's business and operations' strategic environmental, social and governance efforts at various stakeholder levels.

Current group chief people officer Tan Seng Chai will take on the role of chief corporate and people officer. Meanwhile, Andrew Lim will remain as group chief financial officer, and Kevin Goh as The Ascott CEO.

Jason Leow, as president, Singapore & International, will oversee the business and growth of the group in Singapore and internationally, excluding China and India.

Lucas Loh, as president, China, will oversee the business and growth in China as a core geographical market for the group.

Wen Khai Meng, senior advisor, group strategy will also become a member of the executive committee.

All appointments will be effective from July 1, 2019.

In addition to the new appointments, CapitaLand will be creating a group centre of excellence (COE) which focuses on bolstering capabilities, innovation and setting standards for business sectors and operating platforms which it is involved in.

Focus areas include urban strategy, business communities development, retail innovation, customer services & solutions, sustainability and digital & technology.

Mr Khiatani will oversee the COEs for business communities development and customer services & solutions. Mr Leow will oversee the COE for retail innovation, and Mr Loh will oversee the COE for urban strategy.

CapitaLand added that an integration management committee chaired by its non-executive independent director Stephen Lee has been working closely with the integration teams of CapitaLand and Ascendas-Singbridge.

This saw the formation of multiple integration workstreams, with the aim of harmonising key operational and governance processes, formalising reporting structures, and aligning key performance indicators and financial reports.

Mr Lee Chee Koon said that under the new business organisation structure, the group will be able to "quickly mobilise" teams with people from two different companies - spanning functions and business units across all geographies. This is to achieve the group's strategic aspirations in a disciplined way.

"We are gearing up to be operationally ready from day one and to chart a new era of higher performance for CapitaLand," he added.

Ng Kee Choe, chairman of CapitaLand Limited, added that the group will leverage its capabilities and combined scale to extract value from its enhanced real estate value chain and global network.

Shares of the group closed at $3.28 on Friday, up four cents or 1.24 per cent.

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