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News Analysis: New captain onboard

  • AAREIT’s CEO, Mr Koh Wee Lih will be stepping down on 28 November 2021 to pursue other professional interests
  • Mr Russell Ng who is currently the Head of Investment, Investor Relations & Partnerships will be taking over the helm
  • Wee Lee has been instrumental in the transformation of AAREIT through various restructuring over the years and successfully navigated the REIT through several crisis and leaves behind a solid ship with strong fundamentals.
  • CEO-designate Russell’s vast experience in various capacities will provide him with tools to drive AAREIT and steer it to greater heights
  • Maintain HOLD with TP of S$1.60
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Mr Koh Wee Lih will be stepping down as CEO and Executive Director of AAREIT on 28 November 2021 to pursue other professional interests. Wee Lih joined AAREIT almost 13 years ago as in Investment Manager and quickly rose through the ranks as Head of Real Estate, followed by being appointed CEO in 2014.

Filling his big shoes will be Mr Russell Ng who is currently AAREIT’s Head of Investment, Investor Relations & Partnerships. Russell joined the Manager in September 2020 and is responsible for AAREIT’s investment activities, strengthening investor relationships and developing new capital and business partnerships. 

Our thoughts
Since helming AAREIT in January 2014, Wee Lih has been instrumental in transforming the REIT from a entirely Singapore-based portfolio valued at S$1.1bn to its current diversified portfolio valued at more than S$1.7bn located in Singapore and Australia. Most notable, Wee Lih saw to the transformation of its portfolio and successfully navigated AAREIT through the Global Financial Crisis. CWT Limited which used to be the REIT’s top tenant, accounting for more than 19% of the REIT’s income, had been gradually replaced since the 3PL began facing financial difficulties. Wee Lih was also decisive in divesting non-core assets and carried out numerous AEIs and redevelopment projects to maximise the potential of its ageing assets through utilisation of untapped GFA and modernising of its facilities to drive higher rents.

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From 29 November 2021, Russell will be taking over as CEO of AAREIT and we believe that he assumes a strong ship with solid fundamentals. Russell has over 18 years of experience in direct real estate investments, asset management and corporate financing in Asia and Australia. Prior to joining the Manager, he has held senior fund management and investment roles with Lendlease, AEP Investment Management and Mapletree Logistics Trust. His vast experience through his time at two other listed industrial REITs (Mapletree Logistics Trust and Soilbuild REIT) will come in very handy in his new role. Coming from a background in fund management and deal origination, we believe that Russell will continue his hands-on approach in managing AAREIT’s portfolio and continue to embark on more initiatives to drive earnings going forward.