Remarks by Mr Lim Boon Heng, Chairman, Temasek, at the Opening Dinner for Temasek's San Francisco Office
16 February 2017
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies
Mr Timothy Geithner, Chairman of the Temasek Americas Advisory Panel, and other members of the Panel
Mr Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore’s Ambassador to United States
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for being here tonight to celebrate another milestone for us in the Americas. Today, we open our fourth office in this part of the world, and our second in the US.
And it comes so soon after we opened our New York office, just under three years ago.
We realised very quickly that it is not enough to be based in New York. We got to be here in the West Coast as well.
We wouldn’t be in the position we are today without the strong support from our friends, partners, fellow investors, and many others.
I think few are surprised that we are now here. After all, everyone here who knows us knows we have had a constant stream of our people coming to the West Coast for a while now, and we have already made significant investments in the West Coast. It is a logical step to base some of them here.
We have well-established relationships with funds and investment partners in the West Coast of the US – from venture capital to large later-stage investors. Many of you are here with us tonight.
With an office here, we will have more opportunity to deepen those relationships, as well as work closely with West Coast-based companies, large and small, to put our capital to work.
At Temasek, we centre our investment philosophy around our four key investment themes, which we see as the key to the opportunities ahead. The growth of the middle income populations, and transforming economies, are the first two, and definitely linked.
Many companies that we look at here in the US are developing products and services that aren’t just for a domestic market. They play to the changes in demographics in places like Asia and Latin America.
This leads to our third theme – developing comparative advantages. Taking something from here that has been successful and building it out, across borders, to new markets, to a bigger base.
We do see a continuing focus on sectors that are a natural complement to what this region does well – technology, life sciences, and particularly, the congruence of the two.
And finally, unquestionably a strength for this part of America – tomorrow’s global or emerging champions.
Let me also address one of the other challenges we face today – the question of sustainability. As populations grow across the world; and we consume more resources, we all have to take into account the sustainability of what we do.
We see the effects of this challenge – whether it be the impact of climate change, pollution of our air and our waterways, the scarcity of resources, including some foods, or the equality of opportunity available to our peoples.
We stand in THE region that has led disruption in so many ways. People in this room have literally changed the way we live and work as part of the digital age.
Even if you haven’t invented something, you may well have provided capital, business knowledge or mentorship to someone who did. You played a role.
Imagine the possibilities as we turn our collective efforts to solving the world’s sustainability challenges, if we have the same mindset that has seen Silicon Valley change the world in so many other ways?
As a provider of capital and an investor in businesses, we have the chance to invest in possible solutions to some of these global challenges. We have a chance to get behind people who are making the world a cleaner, friendlier and better place to live.
We see the opportunity to tackle global sustainability challenges as just one part of our stewardship responsibilities. As an asset owner and investor, we are a steward of our portfolio for future generations. We extend this responsibility to the world around us as well.
I don’t mean to make you all work too hard for your dinner tonight, but I leave you with the challenge we are asking ourselves every day. How can what we do make the world a better place, even in just some small way?
We hope to have the pleasure of working with you, whether here in San Francisco, throughout the United States, or anywhere else among our network of offices, to do just that!
Again, thank you for joining us tonight, and more importantly, for your ongoing and strong support.
Thank you very much.