GIC appoints first real estate CIO

The Singaporean state fund has appointed Lee Kok Sun as chief investment officer for real estate amid a series of senior-level management changes.  

GIC Private, the preeminent Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, has appointed Lee Kok Sun as chief investment officer for the real estate division in what is a newly-created position for the asset class.

Lee, who is based in New York, has been GIC’s regional head of Americas for real estate since March last year and is responsible for managing the state fund’s real estate portfolio assets in Americas. In his new expanded role he would be leading investments for the asset class across geographies under the leadership of Goh Kok Huat, GIC’s chief operating officer and president for the real estate division.

Lee has been working with GIC since 1996. Before moving to New York he was co-head for GIC’s Asia real estate operations, covering its real estate portfolio across the Asia-Pacific region.

In a statement released yesterday, GIC announced the creation of new chief investment officer positions for each of the asset classes, including private equity, infrastructure, fixed income and public equities.

Other leadership changes include the appointment of Lim Chow Kiat, the current group chief investment officer, as the state fund’s deputy group president; Dr Jeffrey Jaensubhakij, president of public markets, as the deputy group chief investment officer.

“The new senior appointments enhance the development of a strong leadership bench for GIC, allowing us to build new investment capabilities and extend our investment and operating platforms,” said Lim Siong Guan, group president of GIC in the statement.

“The appointment of chief investment officers reflect the maturing of GIC’s investment talent, and strengthening of GIC’s capacity to deal with an investment environment of lower returns, increased volatility, and greater uncertainty.

The changes will take effect from June this year.