Perennial CEO to take on top posts at Wilmar

Mr Pua Seck Guan's dual roles will "deepen the relationship" between Wilmar and Perennial.
Mr Pua Seck Guan's dual roles will "deepen the relationship" between Wilmar and Perennial. PHOTO: SECURITIES INVESTORS ASSOCIATION (SINGAPORE)

Firm says strong management teams will allow Pua Seck Guan to undertake dual appointments

Perennial Real Estate Holdings chief executive officer Pua Seck Guan is to take on the posts of chief operating officer and executive director at agri-business giant Wilmar International.

Mr Pua will retain his position as CEO and executive director at the real estate company, it said yesterday. He will take up his new jobs at Wilmar on Jan 1, replacing Mr Teo Kim Yong, who is to retire.

Wilmar has an effective interest of about 13.1 per cent in Perennial, while its co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Mr Kuok Khoon Hong, is the largest shareholder in Perennial, with an effective interest of about 37.1 per cent.

Mr Pua's primary responsibility will be to help Mr Kuok oversee and manage the company's business divisions and develop new businesses, Perennial said in a statement yesterday.

He will continue to lead the business at Perennial, including determining its strategy and direction and managing its relationships with key partners, it said.

Mr Kuok, who is also chairman of Perennial, said Mr Pua's roles in the two firms "will further strengthen and deepen the relationship between the two companies... Perennial (will) benefit from Wilmar's in-depth knowledge, extensive network and relationships, and experienced on-ground resources in many countries."

These should help Perennial develop a global presence over time, he added.

Mr Pua said he hopes to add value to Wilmar's business through his understanding of varied markets and opportunities, given his time spent in the Asian market, especially in China.

Securities Investors Association (Singapore) president David Gerald noted that shareholders may wonder how Mr Pua will allocate his time, given his two executive director and senior management positions.

However, such dual appointments have been undertaken before, he added. For example, Mr Robert Meyer, Halcyon Agri chief executive and executive chairman, was previously also executive chairman at NH Ceramics, as it was known at the time.

A Perennial spokesman said: "At Wilmar, Mr Pua is supported by the existing management of Wilmar who head its various business divisions.

"At Perennial, there is also a strong senior management team in place to manage the business.

"The board and nomination committees of both companies have therefore supported the appointment after considering Mr Pua's capacity to manage concurrent positions and having adequate and appropriate management resources in place."

Perennial also announced yesterday that Mr Goh Soon Yong, an adviser for Perennial and previously its deputy chief executive officer of China, will become group chief operating officer.

Ms Jesline Goh Hwee Peng will step down as Perennial's deputy chief executive officer of Singapore from Jan 14 to pursue other career opportunities, it said.

Mr Pua said that as Perennial continues to grow as a commercial developer of integrated developments in China along with its extension into healthcare real estate and the medical business, it intends to further strengthen its management bench and resources.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2015, with the headline 'Perennial CEO to take on top posts at Wilmar'. Print Edition | Subscribe