GIC executive director quits to run for president

Tony Tan has given up his positions as deputy chairman and executive director at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation to contest at the upcoming Singapore presidential elections. The news comes days after GIC revealed its new RE chief.

Tony Tan, deputy chairman and executive director at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) has resigned from the sovereign fund in order to run for president in the upcoming Singapore elections.

Tan, who also quit his role as chairman of Singapore Press Holdings, controller of all of Singapore’s major newspapers, said in a statement that his decision to quit was made in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

A GIC spokesperson who confirmed Tan’s departure said the former deputy prime minister was currently working with GIC management to “decide on his successors or changes to the various internal GIC appointments he holds”. She declined to elaborate further.

Tan has also resigned from Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party. The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore rules that the president may not actively engage in any commercial enterprise nor be a member of any political party. Tan was formerly a chairman at Singapore’s OCBC bank from 1992 to 1995. He joined GIC in the newly created post of executive director in 2005 when he retired from politics.

News of Tan’s departure comes just two weeks after GIC conducted a major reshuffling of its executive ranks. The wealth fund revealed how Goh Kok Huat had been appointed president of GIC Real Estate.

The larger of Singapore’s two sovereign funds had earlier this month appointed Tay Lim Hock president of its special investments unit, replacing Teh Kok Peng, who went on to chair GIC's China Business Group.

Additionally, Goh Kok Huat, deputy president of GIC real estate since July 2010, was appointed president of the unit, replacing Seek Ngee Huat who went on to chair GIC's Latin America Business Group. Lim Chow Kiat, president of GIC’s European interests since September 2009, was appointed president of GIC Asset Management. Lim was replaced by Jeffrey Jaensubhakij.

The appointments and Tan’s resignation will be effective 1 July.