Singapore Corporate Awards 2016

Real estate top brass sweep top awards

Event honours those who have elevated corporate disclosure standards, governance

Celebrations onstage at the Singapore Corporate Awards presentation jointly organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times. PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Head honchos in the real estate industry have dominated some of the main awards at the Oscars of the local corporate sector, the Singapore Corporate Awards 2016.

Mr Lim Ee Seng of developer Frasers Centrepoint, Mr William Liem of developer Tuan Sing Holdings and Mr Kong Chee Min of student accommodation firm Centurion Corporation took top honours as Best Chief Executive Officers in the large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap categories, respectively, at the awards presented last night.

The large-cap category comprises listed companies with market capitalisation of $1 billion and above; the mid-cap category of $300 million to less than $1 billion; and the small-cap category of less than $300 million.

The annual event, held at Resorts World Convention Centre, honours listed companies and individuals who have helped to raise local corporate disclosure standards and corporate governance.

The Best Chief Financial Officer awards went to Mr Tony Mallek of Singapore Press Holdings, Mr Loh Kai Keong of Boustead Singapore, and Mr Tan Kah Ghee of Keong Hong Holdings.

Singtel and OCBC clinched gold awards for Best Managed Board in the large-cap category, with Yoma Strategic Holdings winning in the mid-cap category and Sing Investments & Finance topping the small-cap category.

The Special Recognition Award went to City Developments Limited (CDL) for its outstanding leadership and for being a role model in pioneering sustainability practices in the building industry. This award category was created this year to recognise an individual or organisation that has demonstrated outstanding and exemplary corporate governance in the conduct of the affairs of its board and organisation.

"The recognition of CDL as a champion for sustainability for this first award is timely, given investors' need for better visibility on non-financial information of listed companies and their role in sustainability practices," said Mr Willie Cheng, chairman of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and co-chairman of the awards.

"CDL first embarked on its journey to realign its business and operations with environmental sustainability in 1995, under the visionary leadership of our late deputy chairman Mr Kwek Leng Joo," said CDL's deputy CEO Sherman Kwek.

The awards recognise excellence in strong governance,transparency and leadership, said Mr Torsten Linke, head of private banking South-east Asia and Singapore branch manager of Bank Julius Baer, a sponsor of the awards.

"The awards provide a multi-dimensional view of what constitutes an effective board: transparency, accountability, performance, good processes and best practices," he said.

In all, nine companies were honoured for the high quality of corporate governance in their board practices, 13 companies were recognised for excellence in their investor relations, 14 companies were commended for the high standards of disclosure in their financial reporting and one company received a special award for exemplary corporate governance.

"We encourage companies to press ahead with raising the bar in their corporate governance journey to meet the increasing expectations of the investing community and other stakeholders," said the president of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (Isca) Gerard Ee.

The awards were co-organised by Isca, SID and The Business Times, and were supported by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2016, with the headline Real estate top brass sweep top awards. Subscribe