Eugene Lai Takes Over From Kee Teck Koon As CEO Of The Ascott Group
Singapore, February 27, 2003 - The Ascott Group announced today that with effect from April 2, 2003, Mr Kee Teck Koon, its chief executive officer and managing director, will relinquish his post as Ascott's CEO and MD. Mr Eugene Lai, a managing director of The Carlyle Group and a director of Raffles Holdings Limited, will be Ascott's new CEO and MD.
The Carlyle Group is one of the world's largest private equity firms, headquartered in Washington, DC. Mr Kee will assume the post of chief executive officer for CapitaLand Commercial and CapitaLand Financial, while continuing to remain on the board of The Ascott Group. Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott's chief operating officer, will move up to be deputy CEO (Operations).
Ascott's chairman, Mr Lim Chin Beng, said: "Despite the challenging global economic environment, Teck Koon has led The Ascott Group to three successive years of profitability.
"Together with his team, he has transformed The Ascott Group from a 265-unit serviced residence division under Pidemco Land (now part of CapitaLand Limited), to a 13,500-unit serviced residence company operating in 37 cities in 15 countries. Ascott is today a leading international serviced residence company.
"Teck Koon's most recent accomplishment is the acquisition of a 50 per cent interest in Citadines, a pan-European serviced residence chain. I am delighted that we have found a worthy successor in Eugene Lai to consolidate and build on the gains made over the years by Teck Koon."
Mr Eugene Lai, currently a board member of Raffles Holdings Limited, has an impressive track record as an investment banker, advising on numerous mergers and acquisitions, and capital raising transactions. He has held various senior positions at Schroders and Salomon Smith Barney.
At Schroders, he was head of Corporate Finance, Southeast Asia; deputy group CEO, Singapore; and a member of the four-person Asia-Pacific Investment Banking Executive Committee that was responsible for Schroders' investment banking business in Asia.
Ascott's deputy chairman, Mr Liew Mun Leong, said: "I have known Eugene for some years now as he was closely involved in an advisory capacity for the mergers of both Pidemco Land and DBS Land to form CapitaLand Limited, and of The Ascott Limited and Somerset Holdings Limited to form The Ascott Group.
"Eugene is familiar with the global real estate and hospitality business. I am pleased he has come on board at an opportune time to provide leadership to The Ascott Group. With the global footprint nicely carved out by Teck Koon, I am confident Eugene will consolidate the gains and take Ascott to the next stages of growth and profitability."
ABOUT MR EUGENE LAI
Mr Eugene Lai is currently a managing director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms, headquartered in Washington, DC. He is one of four partners in the Asian Buy-out business.
Prior to this, from 1997 to 2001, Mr Lai held several senior positions at Schroders and Salomon Smith Barney. At Schroders, he was the head of Corporate Finance (Southeast Asia), deputy group CEO (Singapore office), and member of a four-person Asia-Pacific Investment Banking Executive Committee (which was responsible for Schroders' investment banking business in Asia). At Salomon Smith Barney, he was a managing director in the Asia-Pacific Investment Banking Division. In these positions, Mr Lai advised on numerous mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions.
Before investment banking, Mr Lai who is legally trained, was with the legal firms Coudert Brothers and David Chong & Company. At Coudert Brothers, an international law firm headquartered in New York, he worked as an attorney in its New York and Singapore offices. He was a partner at David Chong & Company, a regional law firm with main offices in Singapore and Malaysia. As a lawyer, Mr Lai specialised primarily in corporate and financial matters.
Mr Lai graduated from The London School of Economics and Political Science, London University, with a Bachelor's degree in law (first class honours and top of his class). He obtained his Master's degree in Law from Harvard University. He is qualified as a lawyer in New York, England and Wales, Singapore and Malaysia.
ABOUT THE ASCOTT GROUP
The Ascott Group is an international serviced residence company, owning / managing over 8,400 serviced residence units in 20 cities in 11 countries across Asia, Australasia and the UK.
These include prime properties in gateway cities and business centres such as Singapore, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Melbourne.
On completion of its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Citadines, a pan-European serviced residence chain, by end March, Ascott's portfolio will be expanded to 13,500 units spanning 37 cities.
The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 19-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that are market leaders in the Asia Pacific.
The group's luxury 'The Ascott' brand projects an elegant lifestyle appealing to top executives. The 'Somerset' brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives.
Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group's shares trade as 'Ascott' on the Singapore Exchange. It is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia's largest listed property companies.
For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations at (65) 6272-7272 or visit the group's website at www.the-ascott.com.