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Pua Seck Guan to become Wilmar's chief operating officer

RETAIL mall veteran Pua Seck Guan is about to take on an extra role on top of his job at Perennial Real Estate Holdings.

He has been named chief operating officer (COO) of commodities group Wilmar International with effect from Jan 1, 2016, Perennial said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday.

This is in addition to his current role as Perennial's chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director (ED), which he will retain.

Wilmar holds an effective 13.1 per cent stake in Perennial. The commodities group's chairman and CEO, Kuok Khoon Hong, owns a 37.1 per cent stake in Perennial. Mr Kuok is also Perennial's chairman.

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Mr Pua's main responsibility at Wilmar will be to "assist Mr Kuok with overseeing and managing" Wilmar's business divisions and developing new businesses, Perennial said in its statement.

It added that Mr Pua "remains committed to spending sufficient time and focus in his role as CEO and ED of Perennial, and will be working closely with his team in charting Perennial's growth growing forward".

The group did not specify how Mr Pua plans to juggle multiple top-level roles, but said he would be assisted by Goh Soon Yong who will become Perennial's group COO on Jan 1, 2016. Mr Goh was previously its deputy CEO for China.

In his capacity as Perennial's chairman, Wilmar's Mr Kuok said in a statement: "With Seck Guan's exceptional combination of business and leadership skills as well as entrepreneurial attitude, good capacity to take on extra responsibilities and strong commitment to the success of Perennial, the board is of the view that his appointment at Wilmar is in the best interest of Perennial."

Mr Pua said in a statement that Wilmar's "established reputation and relationships" could help Perennial gain access to real estate opportunities.

Perennial shares fell one cent to S$0.965 before the news. Wilmar shares also coincidentally shed a cent to end Friday at S$2.88.