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ARA’s COO Ng to depart

The long-serving executive will officially leave ARA at the end of the month as part of the firm’s plan to integrate with its parent company ESR Group.

Beng Tiong Ng, deputy group chief executive officer and group chief operating officer at ARA Asset Management, has stepped down from the leadership role, PERE has learnt.

Ng will officially leave the firm at the end of the month as part of ARA’s broader plan to integrate with its parent company ESR Group, according to two sources close to the situation. It is understood no replacement will be named for Ng’s role and his departure is not linked to other recent senior departures at the firm, according to the sources.

Ng’s leaving marks the end of a 14-year association with the Singaporean firm. Prior to ARA’s merger with logistics specialist ESR Group, Ng oversaw the performance of the ARA Group’s business units globally and was responsible for the integration and co-ordination among the various divisions in the group. Under his leadership, ARA’s private funds business raised and managed 10 private funds totaling $5.5 billion in committed capital and invested $9 billion across Asia Pacific.

Before joining ARA, he was a finance director at listed Singaporean property group Low Leng Huat from 2003 to 2007.

The enlarged ESR Group has been planning a “seamless business and operational integration” since the merger last year. Last week, ARA promoted David Blight to become the chief investment officer of its private funds division as part of the wider consolidation effort. Since joining ARA in 2015, Blight has been the CEO of ARA Australia. He was previously chairman and CEO of the global ING Real Estate Investment management platform.

In his new role, Blight will work closely with ARA’s group chief executive officer Moses Song to reduce the number of “smaller, niche products” and focus on scaling its flagship funds.

Before the merger with ESR, ARA’s private fund management business was led by former chief executive David Kim. He and three former ARA executives left the firm last month to lead the launch of an Asia business for ICG Real Estate, the property division of London-based manager Intermediate Capital Group, PERE reported. These include the firm’s former head of value-add and opportunistic real estate Stephen Tang, former head of investments and asset management for Australia Rohan Neville and former manager Isaac Leo.