Temasek Holdings

Singapore's Temasek hires latest senior banker

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2013, 6:07am

Temasek Holdings, Singapore's state-owned investment company, has hired Morgan Stanley managing director Jonathan Popper, said two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified.

Popper oversaw mergers and acquisitions in Southeast Asia for the New York-based bank. Nick Footitt, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, confirmed that Popper will be leaving the firm, but declined to comment further.

At Morgan Stanley, Popper was involved in advising Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi on his S$8.9 billion (HK$56.37 billion) offer for Singapore's Fraser & Neave (F&N). Charoen, who is vying with a group led by Overseas Union Enterprise for F&N, on Thursday extended his bid ahead of a deadline for final offers later this month.

Temasek, which managed S$198 billion of assets as of March 31, said in June it was seeking investment opportunities as the turmoil in Europe may result in a market slump rivalling the 2008 global financial crisis.

The fund's senior hires from global investment banks in the past 18 months include Boon Sim, ex-global head of mergers and acquisitions for Credit Suisse; John Cryan, the former chief financial officer for UBS; and Tan Chong Lee, the former head of corporate and investment banking in Southeast Asia at Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit.

Sim and Cryan are now Temasek's presidents for North America and Europe respectively, while Tan is its chief investment officer.

Temasek spokesman Tan Yong Meng declined to comment on Popper's hiring. Popper didn't respond to a call and a text message to his mobile phone seeking comment on the move.