Temasek opens San Francisco office

The Singapore-based investor expands its presence in the US as it seeks to capitalise on investments in life sciences and emerging technologies.

Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings opened its San Francisco office on Thursday as it continues to pursue opportunities in North America’s tech venture scene.

The firm’s San Francisco office is its fourth in the Americas and will complement teams in New York, Mexico City and São Paulo, according to a statement.

Lim Boon Heng, chairman of Temasek Holdings, said: “Many companies we look at here in the US are developing products and services that cater to users beyond the domestic market. They play to the changes in demographics in places like Asia and Latin America. We see a continuing focus on sectors that are a natural complement to what this region does well – technology, life sciences, and particularly, the congruence of the two”.

“We recognise that opportunities arising from the East Coast and the West Coast are diverse and unique, and have always intended to have an office in San Francisco alongside our New York office,” Temasek’s joint head of North America, John Vaske, added. “The opening of our San Francisco office comes at a time where we see increasing opportunities in areas such as technology, healthcare, life sciences and agriculture, as well as early stage investments.”

Temasek, which manages around $180 billion in assets, has been ramping up its exposure to North America which last year grew to 10 percent of its total portfolio.

Earlier this month Temasek invested $800 million for a minority stake in Google life sciences affiliate Verily Life Sciences. In the US, Temasek has also made investments in vacation rental service Airbnb, as well as in biotech firms Alexion and Regeneron, companies that develop transformative treatments for serious diseases.

The opening of Temasek’s San Francisco office was also marked by the second meeting of its Temasek Americas Advisory Panel, which was launched in June 2016. The panel, which will advise on Temasek’s investment activities, includes prominent business leaders including Timothy Geithner, president of Warburg Pincus; David Cote, chairman and CEO of Honeywell International; and Ellen Kullman, former chairman and CEO of DuPont.