The prime minister's powerful better half

Topics: Singapore, Leadership, Temasek Holdings Pages: 3 (1556 words) Published: November 4, 2014
Introduction Temasek Holdings is a Singapore-based investment company with over US100 billion in assets, including shares and investments in a wide range of industries worldwide. It is owned by the government of Singapore and the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, has a supervisory role over the company. Although there were accusations of nepotism when Ho Ching, the prime ministers wife, joined the company in 2002 (at the time her husband was the Finance Minister of Singapore and her father-in-law the legendary former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew), Temasek Chairman Dhanabalan told Businessweek I got her not because of her political connections but because of her competence and record (Thomas White International 2010). Ho Ching has proved to be a formidable leader who transformed Temaseks inner structure as well as its international profile. In 2002 the companys investment portfolio was domestically-based and comprised mainly government-linked companies. Under her leadership, the company revised its investment strategy and took bold steps (in Asia and then further afield) through cultural diversification, a global outlook and transparent policies. From a company which employed mainly Singaporeans in 2002, Temaseks staff included people from 22 different countries and the company had a senior management team that was 40 non-Singaporean in 2007 (Thomas White International 2010). The companys portfolio grew exponentially during her leadership and Temasek transformed from being a largely domestic investment company in 2002 to a global-oriented investment house. Thanks to Ho Chings deal-making, the net value of Temaseks portfolio grew 27 to US108 billion in 2010 from US80 billion the previous year. This is the first time that Temaseks portfolio has crossed the US100 billion mark, the company said in a statement. Temasek reports a healthy 17 yearly compounded rate of return to its investments since its inception in 1974 (top10malaysia.com)....

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