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CLAS and CLCT appoint new chairmen

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 5 min read
CLAS and CLCT appoint new chairmen
The changes will take place after the respective REITs' AGMs in April. Photo: Bloomberg
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The managers of both CapitaLand Ascott Trust HMN -

(CLAS) and CapitaLand China Trust AU8U - (CLCT) announced, on March 11, that their chairmen will be retiring.

Bob Tan will step down from his position as chairman of the managers of CLAS after having served since 2016. Tan was also the chairman of CLAS’s nominating and remuneration committee in 2021. Tan will retire from the boards of CLAS after its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) in April.

Under Tan’s leadership, CLAS became the largest lodging trust in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region after it merged with Ascendas Hospitality Trust in 2019. He also led the trust through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and oversaw CLAS’s entry into the student accommodation sector and the execution of the trust’s active portfolio reconstitution strategy.

CLAS's Bob Tan (left) and Lui Chong Chee. Photo: CLAS

Following his retirement, Lui Chong Chee, a non-executive independent director at CLAS, will succeed him as chairman. His appointment will be effective on April 22. Lui was also previously the managing director and CEO of Far East Orchard O10 -

Limited from 2014 to 2019. Before that, he was the group chief financial officer (CFO) of Raffles Medical Group BSL - from 2011 to 2014.

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“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our stapled securityholders for their support over the years. It has been a privilege working alongside a forward-thinking, dynamic and committed team of directors and management,” says Tan.

“With a shared purpose to deliver sustainable returns to stapled securityholders, we made the strategic pivot to include student accommodation properties in our portfolio amid the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance CLAS’s stable income. CLAS has been increasing its yield through quality acquisitions and conducting asset enhancement initiatives to uplift the value of its portfolio, positioning CLAS for its next wave of growth,” he adds. “With Chong Chee’s deep experience and Serena’s continued leadership, I have full confidence that the team will bring CLAS to greater heights.”

“On behalf of the boards and management, I would like to thank Bob for his invaluable contributions and insight. With his guidance, CLAS’s well-balanced portfolio today is strategically positioned for growth while remaining resilient against macroeconomic uncertainties,” says Lui.

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“Harnessing the boards’ collective depth and diversity of experience, I look forward to working with the CLAS management team and stakeholders as we strive to deliver long-term value to our stapled securityholders,” he adds.

CLCT’s Soh Kim Soon to retire

At the same time, Soh Kim Soon, chairman of the board of CLCT will be retiring. Soh, who was appointed chairman in April 2017, will also be retiring after CLCT’s AGM on April 23. Upon his retirement, he will relinquish his role as chairman of the nominating and remuneration committee.

“The board and management of CapitaLand China Trust Management Limited (CLCTML) would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to Mr Soh for his invaluable contributions over the years, which saw the transformation and growth of CLCT from a pure retail-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) into a diversified multi-asset class platform.  CLCT’s portfolio reconstitution efforts saw the trust successfully expanding into business and logistics parks to further diversify its income streams,” says CLCT in a separate statement.

CLCT's Soh Kim Soon (left) and Tan Tee How. Photo: CLCT

After his retirement, Tan Tee How, a non-executive independent director of CLCT’s manager, will succeed Soh as chairman of the board and of the nominating and remuneration committee.

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“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience serving as the chairman of CLCTML, working alongside my esteemed board colleagues and the dedicated management team.  I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our CEO Tze Wooi and the management team for their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts in fortifying our portfolio amidst the challenges and uncertainties we faced during the pandemic,” says Soh.

“Our collective efforts and perseverance were instrumental in strengthening the business and ensuring its resilience.  Guided by our shared vision of strategically aligning our portfolio with China’s long term economic priorities, our portfolio reconstitution efforts have empowered us to be future-ready.  I am confident that with Tee How at the helm, CLCT will continue to achieve new levels of success, delivering sustainable returns to our unitholders,” he adds.

“I am truly honoured to be appointed as chairman of the board.  On behalf of the board and management, Tze Wooi and I would like to convey our deepest appreciation to Kim Soon for his valuable contributions and support over the past seven years. He has been instrumental in CLCT’s timely pivot into a well-diversified REIT despite a challenging operating environment.  I look forward to working with my fellow directors, the management team and other stakeholders in shaping CLCT’s future growth,” says Tee How.

As at 12.55pm, units in CLAS and CLCT are trading at $2.72 and 73 cents respectively.

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