* 2nd high profile foreigner departure after BHP's Goodyear
* Michael Dee to remain temporary adviser
* Temasek has seen reshuffling in its management ranks
(Updates with details)
By Saeed Azhar
SINGAPORE, March 16 Singapore state investor
Temasek's senior managing director Michael Dee will step down
from his current role on April 30, the second high-profile
foreigner to leave the sovereign wealth fund in less than a
Temasek said on Tuesday that Dee, who was part of a drive
to internationalise the fund, will remain in an advisory role
as senior director until the year-end, but declined to give
reasons for his departure.
"It seems like the company is focusing its efforts on locally
grown talent," said Melvyn Teo, associate professor at
Singapore Management University.
"The investment strategy in the recent past has been to
focus more on this region, so it would be in sync with this
Temasek has said it plans to cut exposure to developed
markets and sees potential in Asia, Latin America and Africa,
as sovereign funds around the world cautiously emerge from the
financial crisis. [ID:nL236030]
Dee's departure comes after last year's failed experiment
to bring in former BHP Billiton (BHP.AX) head Chip Goodyear as
Temasek chief executive.
Goodyear, who would have replaced Ho Ching, wife of
Singapore's prime minister, decided to leave after strategic
differences with Temasek [ID:nSIN157599]. Finance Minister
Tharman Shanmugaratnam said last year that Temasek's next chief
would "ideally" be a Singaporean.
Temasek's sole shareholder is the Ministry of Finance, but
its website describes it as an Asia investment house
headquartered in Singapore, with multinational staff.
Dee's departure will leave Temasek's senior management team
as mostly Singaporean.
Temasek has seen a number of changes in its management
ranks in the last few months. It moved Charles Ong, another
senior MD and chief strategist, to start a new investment
company that could eventually draw funds from Singaporeans.
It brought former Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGXL.SI) CEO
Hsieh Fu Hua on to its board as a special adviser to Ho, while
another Singaporean, Michael Lien, the head of a
Singapore-based family office, joined as non-executive
Dee had Southeast Asian investment banking experience as
CEO for the region at Morgan Stanley (MS.N), where he worked
for more than two decades.
Dee, an engaging and interactive speaker, often stood up to
explain his point of view, according to people who have seen
him working, in contrast to the more conservative style of many
executives at Singapore's state companies.
One Temasek insider told Reuters that Dee was "outspoken".
"Michael Dee's decision to relinquish the role of senior
managing director is part of executive movements," Temasek
spokeswoman Myrna Thomas said in a statement.
Dee was not available to comment.
According to a Wharton alumni magazine, Dee was a "top
amateur pairs skater" and in 1989 took a plane to Germany to
witness the fall of the Berlin Wall and use a sledgehammer to
do his bit in dismantling of the Cold War landmark.
(Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Ian Geoghegan)