UPDATE 1-Temasek's Seatown unit's co-CEO Ahmad leaves-sources

Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:21am EDT

Related Topics

* Co-CEO Nasser Ahmad previously ran a NY-based credit asset manager

* Temasek's senior MD Charles Ong also leaving Seatown's co-ceo role

* Temasek to name another senior MD as CEO Seatown-source

By Saeed Azhar

SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - Nasser Ahmad, a Wall Street credit specialist who led a S$4 billion ($3.2) multi-strategy investment firm set up by Singapore state investor Temasek, is leaving the company, sources with knowledge of the move said on Monday.

The former Credit Suisse banker, who was hired more than a year ago as co-CEO of Seatown Holdings, is leaving and looking for other options, one of the sources told Reuters.

Charles Ong, who worked with Ahmad, will also vacate his role as co-CEO of Seatown and return to Temasek as senior managing director for special projects, sources told Reuters.

A senior managing director from Temasek will take over as the new chief executive officer of Seatown, one of the sources said, without identifying the name of the executive.

The leadership change raises questions about the future of the firm that was set up more than a year to derive maximum returns akin to a hedge fund by investing in a broad range of assets across the world.

Seatown, however, will continue to operate as a separate unit, sources familiar with the fund said. These sources did want to be identified because the information was not public. A Temasek spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, quoted a source as saying the fund has drawn down around half its $2.9 billion in seed capital, yielding gross returns of 15-17 percent.

Seatown, established with seed money from Temasek, was preparing to raise funds from external investors to earn fees, Temasek officials had said in the past.

Ong, a former banker at Lazard Freres & Co and Deutsche Bank, has been with Temasek since 2002. Ahmad joined more than a year ago, and before that was chief investment officer and managing partner of New York-based DiMaio Ahmad Capital, an asset manager specialising in credit markets.

Temasek Holdings , the smaller of Singapore's two sovereign wealth investors, earlier this month said its portfolio climbed 3.8 percent to S$193 billion ($158 billion) in the 12 months to March 31 as Asian stocks outperformed global peers.

It also reported net profit of S$12.7 billion for its financial year to March 31, up from S$4.6 billion in 2009/2010. ($1 = 1.218 Singapore Dollars)

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