No jobs will be cut as Keppel Corp consolidates asset management businesses

Keppel shipyard workers at their shipyard in Singapore.
Keppel shipyard workers at their shipyard in Singapore. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Keppel Corp will consolidate its interests in four asset management businesses under one subsidiary, calling the move a "major restructuring exercise to grow the contribution from its investment division".

The restructuring will not change the unitholdings in the Reits and business trust or investments in the funds, Keppel said in a statement on Monday (Jan 25).

The consolidation would include the managers of Keppel Infrastructure Trust, Keppel DC Reit, Keppel Reit and Alpha Investment Partners.

There will be no job losses from the restructuring, the company said in an e-mail to Reuters, adding: "Each business vehicle will continue to retain its key management and employees to ensure business continuity."

The four businesses currently manage S$26 billion of assets and contributed S$60 million of profits in 2015, said Keppel Corp CEO Loh Chin Hua.

Said Mr Loh: "The consolidation under Keppel Capital is part of our continuing plan to grow our assets under management and expand our capital platform for co-investing."

"The proposed consolidation will benefit the Keppel Group by strengthening the group's capital recycling platform and ability to make prudent and timely investments with an expanded capital base and without relying solely on its balance sheet.

"It will also improve the performance of the subsidiaries and the funds, Reits and business trusts that they manage through centralising certain non-regulated support functions and creating a larger platform which will enhance recruitment and retention of talent, and sharing of best practices.

"This will improve the returns to the Keppel Group, and to other investors and unitholders, from their investments in the funds and unitholdings in the Reits and business trust. The proposed consolidation will also improve the group's stable, recurring income from management fees."

Ms Christina Tan, currently managing director of Alpha, will be appointed the CEO-designate of Keppel Capital, said Keppel. She has over 20 years of experience in investing and fund management spanning the US, Europe and Asia and, under her leadership, Alpha has grown its assets under management to over S$12 billion today, said the company.

The proposed consolidation is subject to board approval and, if required, shareholder and unitholder approval of the relevant Keppel Group entities, as well as the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and other relevant regulatory approvals, said Keppel.

Subject to obtaining the relevant approvals, Keppel aims to complete the proposed consolidation by the second half of 2016.

Keppel said it may then consider increasing the business' scope to include regulated activities relating to investments and asset management. This increase in scope would be undertaken after obtaining the necessary licences and approvals from MAS, it said.