GIC names new COO in management shuffle

Mr Tay Lim Hock is the deputy group chief investment officer of GIC, a role he retains; and president (Europe) for the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.
Mr Tay Lim Hock is the deputy group chief investment officer of GIC, a role he retains; and president (Europe) for the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.PHOTO: GIC

SINGAPORE - GIC has appointed Mr Tay Lim Hock as chief operating officer (COO) following the retirement of Mr Goh Kok Huat, who is stepping down after a decade with the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, the firm said on Monday (April 1).

Mr Tay is the deputy group chief investment officer, a role he retains; and president (Europe) for GIC, a role which will now be filled by Mr Arjun Gupta, a managing director and head of portfolio in the private equity group. Mr Tay will relocate to Singapore from London while Mr Gupta in turn relocates from Singapore to London.

Mr Goh will become a GIC adviser until June 30, 2020. He first took on the role of COO in April 2014, concurrent with his real estate portfolio. He joined GIC in 2009 and was appointed president of real estate in 2011.

Mr Tay first joined GIC's Asian private equity (PE) team in 1995, before being posted to London in 2000 as head of PE Europe. He went, in 2003, to San Francisco as head of PE United States. He became the global head of the funds and co-investment group in 2008, deputy president of PE and infrastructure in 2010, and president in 2011.

In 2017, Mr Tay returned to London to take on the role of president (Europe) and deputy group chief investment officer. Before GIC, Mr Tay was an aeronautical engineer with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Mr Gupta is a managing director and head of portfolio in the private equity group. He serves on the private equity investment committee, and is also head of consumer and healthcare, focusing on evaluating consumer, retail and healthcare companies. He joined GIC in April 2010.

Before being a consultant to private equity firms, he was with Kraft Foods, where he was group vice-president and president, Asia-Pacific, and was before that the managing director for Kraft Foods' business in Greater China (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan).

Separately, Dr Leslie Teo, GIC's chief economist and director, economics and investment strategy, will also be retiring, having joined GIC in 2008. He, too, will continue as a GIC adviser until June 30, 2020.

Mr Kevin Bong will take on the role of director of economics and investment strategy, while Dr Prakash Kannan will assume the role of chief economist. Dr Kannan will retain his current role as head, total portfolio management, economics and investment strategy.

Mr Bong began his career with GIC in Singapore, analysing risk and return expectations of investment strategies and asset classes, and advising the Government on its long-term investment needs and risk tolerance. He was also a portfolio manager in GIC's external manager department in New York, where he oversaw the North American equity and hedge fund book.

Meanwhile, Dr Kannan, currently deputy chief economist and head of total portfolio management, has more than 15 years' experience in global macro research and strategy and is responsible for medium-term global macro and asset allocation strategy for the firm. Before GIC, he was with the International Monetary Fund where he was a member of the World Economic Outlook team.

GIC chief executive officer Lim Chow Kiat said: "The new appointments refresh the bench and also prepare new leaders to take on more responsibilities. They show the long-term approach that defines GIC, whether in investing or succession planning."

He also thanked Mr Goh and Dr Teo for their contributions, which span more than a decade.

"They have shaped and orientated their roles for the future. Both of them have expressed their desire to pursue other interests, and we wish them all the best in their future pursuits," Mr Lim added.