Temasek loses China dealmaker to private equity fund

Temasek, the Singapore sovereign fund, has lost three senior investment executives in a week. Jimmy Phoon, the chief investment officer of the investment firm in Singapore, is leaving. Hong Kong’s Frank Tang, Temasek China dealmaker, has also resigned with his colleague Terry Hu.

Temasek has lost three senior executives including two China investment specialists who are based in Hong Kong. Local sources suggest that the duo of Frank Tang, senior managing director of China investments and former Goldman Sachs banker, and Terry Hu, a managing director, are teaming up with two other former Temasek executives to raise a fund.

“I have decided to narrow my focus and concentrate on backing emerging champions in China, by setting up a China dedicated private equity fund.  I look forward to opportunities to work with my colleagues at Temasek in the future,” Tang said.

Along with the resignations of the China investment professionals, Temasek is also losing Jimmy Phoon, who was promoted to chief investment officer last year. The resignations will take effect on 1 October, according to Temasek.

Phoon will be succeeded by Tow Heng Tan, his co-chief investment officer. Phoon who joined Temasek in 1999 will be leaving to take on an “advisory position with a local investment firm” after his break.

Robert Chong, managing director of human resources at Temasek said: “We respect the fact that our staff may have aspirations to do something different at different points of their professional career. We are open to the possibility that they may return to Temasek someday too.  We are also open to opportunities to work with them in their new capacities.”

Separately, Fang Fenglei, a partner at Goldman’s Gao Hua Securities with a reputation as a Chinese rainmaker, is looking to raise a $4 billion fund dedicated to China – half of which would be a yuan denominated fund, the other half, a US dollar fund, according to sources.