As governments and investors put money into green infrastructure, retail investors, too, can contribute towards a net zero world, says Ho Ching, CEO and executive director of Temasek Holdings. 

Speaking at the closing address of Temasek’s three-day Ecosperity Week 2021, Ho urged governments and businesses to open new opportunities for retail investors to invest for their own retirement or for their children. “The nexus between investors, businesses and society is people. We have a collective and shared responsibility between us, between investors and businesses, [between] governments and workers, to foster lifelong learning and to prepare ahead for retirement.”

Ho raised the example of how Capitaland pioneered the development of REITs nearly two decades ago. “Their first REIT was a portfolio of high-performing shopping malls. Retail investors can easily visit these malls to see for themselves if the malls are doing well.”

“The S-REIT market in Singapore has since grown to over $100 billion. Retail investors can now choose from over 40 different REITs and property trusts. S-REITs have also democratised these big ticket assets for the small investor. At the same time, companies were able to tap on a new class of investors to lighten their balance sheets,” says Ho. 

“Similarly, Temasek has pioneered a series of bonds backed by baskets of private equity funds,” she adds. “These diversify and reduce risks for the retail investors and socialise them to the world of Private Equity (PE) funds. We are working to open the equity piece for retail investors too.”

From Temasek's Ecosperity Week 2021

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At the Marina Bay Sands, Ho closed the final day of the hybrid event, which also featured the inaugural edition of the Singapore Sustainable Investing & Financing Conference (SSIFC), organised by BlackRock, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Temasek.

Earlier on Sept 30, Temasek announced that Ho will be taking over as chairman of Temasek Trust from April 1, 2022.

She will succeed S Dhanabalan, who has held the role since September 2015. Dhanabalan will remain on the board and be designated chairman emeritus.

See: Ho Ching to step down as Temasek CEO, director effective Oct 1

Established in 2007, Temasek Trust oversees the Singapore investment company's philanthropic endowments. These fund the work of designated beneficiaries like the Temasek Foundation, which distributed masks and oximeters to Singaporeans this year. 

Ho, 68, will join the Trust’s board of directors from Oct 1, 2021, the same day she leaves Temasek Holdings. Ho first joined Temasek Holdings as a director in January 2002. She became its executive director in May 2002 and was appointed CEO in January 2004.

presentation of token of appreciation - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Dilhan Pillay will take her place, holding a dual role as CEO of both Temasek and its commercial arm Temasek International. He has held the latter role since 2019. 

Header photo: Bloomberg