Temasek formalises Europe presence

The Singaporean state investment firm has established a UK-based company to support its European investment portfolio, 18 months after John Cryan joined as president of Europe.

One of Asia’s most active LPs, Temasek Holdings, has set up a UK-based unit to support its investments, holdings and operations in London, a spokesman from the $161 billion sovereign wealth fund confirmed to Private Equity International.

“The creation of the UK-incorporated entity formalises the organisational structure around John Cryan’s role as president for Europe, and provides a suitable set-up to match our investment activity in Europe, which will very much be a continuing focus for us,” he said in an e-mailed statement. 

Cryan, president of Europe and co-head of the portfolio and strategy group at Temasek, moved to Temasek in January 2012 after a long career at UBS. 

He joined SG Warburg in London in 1987, before its acquisition by UBS. He then rose to become global head of the bank’s financial institutions group, before being appointed group chief financial officer in 2008. He has also served as chairman and chief executive of the bank’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division. 

The creation of the UK-incorporated entity formalises the organisational structure around John Cryan's role as president for Europe, and provides a suitable set-up to match our investment activity in Europe.

Temasek spokesman

However, the move to establish a UK-based company does not indicate an increase in the firm’s activity in Europe, the spokesman stressed. “The unit’s creation does not signal a shift in Temasek’s approach to transactions in the market. We have similar entities in other countries.”

Temasek has a 27 percent allocation to alternative assets and has made commitments to a wide variety of private equity funds in Asia and the rest of the world, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division. 

The firm has 11 percent of its assets spread across Europe and North America, compared to Asia ex-Singapore where it has 42 percent of its assets, according to its 2012 annual report. The report showed Temasek’s net portfolio value grew 2.6 percent to S$198 billion (€126 billion; $156 billion) in 2012, but the figure was down from the 4.2 percent growth reported the previous year and way down from 43 percent growth in 2010 in Singapore dollar terms.