Temasek’s Governance Opportunity

Ashby Monk

I was interested to catch this article describing the ‘official thinking’ behind the selection of the new CEO of Temasek.

“The Cabinet discussed the appointment of American Charles Goodyear as CEO-designate of Temasek Holdings and decided the Government should not object to a foreigner holding the post if the company’s board found him suitable and the best candidate available.”

However, the Senior Minister of State (Finance) Lim Hwee Hua told Parliament yesterday that the Board of Temasek should in fact remain in the hands of Singaporeans.

This raises an interesting question: as SWFs become increasingly important employers in the global finance industry, what place will foreigners have within these institutions? As government owned entities with a mandate to invest in the interest of the sponsoring country, too many foreigners within SWF leadership positions could get in the way of this objective. Clearly, Singapore understands this. Nevertheless, they also see the clear opportunities to be had from having an American CEO; particularly if protectionist sentiments take hold…

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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