Is Succession Planning In The Works At City Developments Limited?

City Developments Limited (SGX: C09), one of Singapore’s largest real estate companies, had announced just this morning a shuffle in six of its senior management positions.

The more noteworthy changes are the company’s appointment of a new head of asset management, a new chief financial officer (CFO), and a new deputy chief executive officer (deputy CEO).

City Developments has appointed Kwek Eik Sheng as its new head of asset management. But, he will still continue to serve in his role as City Development’s chief strategy officer.

Kwek is the nephew of Kwek Leng Beng, the executive chairman of City Developments. In my view, this move can be seen as a possible indication of the growing importance of asset management in City Developments’ overall business strategy.

The new CFO in question is Yiong Yim Ming, who was officially appointed today. Yiong has been with City Developments for over eight years and was previously the company’s Senior Vice President of Group Accounts. But, she was already handling CFO duties for the real estate outfit after its previous CFO, Goh Ann Nee, resigned back in January this year.

Prior to joining City Developments, Yiong had spent over a decade in total with two of the big-four auditing firms, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

Lastly, Sherman Kwek Eik Tse has been appointed as City Developments’ new deputy CEO. Sherman Kwek, the son of Kwek Leng Beng, had previously held important executive roles in City Developments. Prior to the new appointment, he was the CEO of CDL China Limited, one of City Developments’ wholly-owned subsidiaries. Back in 2013, he also became the youngest elected council member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As City Developments’ new deputy CEO, Sherman Kwek would assist chief executive Grant Kelley, who was himself appointed in 2014, in the overall management of the company’s key operating segments. He would also be helping Kelley achieve City Developments’ strategic objectives in its Singapore operations and find new growth opportunities overseas.

The recent reshuffle in City Developments’ senior management ranks might be a step forward in the company’s succession planning. It is possible that Sherman Kwek is now the most likely candidate within the company to takeover Kelley’s CEO role in the future.

In City Developments’ announcement regarding the managerial changes, Kelley commented, “These six appointments mark the first chapter of our ongoing efforts to enhance CDL’s organisational structure and management systems. We aim to strengthen our capabilities and drive productivity, as we ramp up our diversification plans and position the Company for expansion of both the international and funds management platforms.”

To me, it sounds like investors can expect more changes to come for City Developments.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Stanley Lim doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.