Hong Kong-based conglomerate Jardine Matheson has announced that its treasurer, Adrian Teng, is set to take up a new role within the group based in Singapore.

The firm, which this year picked up one of AsianInvestor’s prestigious Institutional Excellence Awards in the pension fund (private sector) category, will relocate Craig Beattie from the UK to succeed Teng with effect from April 1 next year.

Beattie has been with the Jardine Matheson group since 2006 and has served in a number of senior finance positions, including in Mandarin Oriental and Hongkong Land. He is currently group finance director at Jardine Motors in the UK.

“[Beattie’s] broad exposure to the group’s operations and previous experience with our treasury activities provides him with a strong base as the future head of our treasury team,” said James Riley, finance director for Jardine Matheson group.

Teng will take up the role of finance director of group company Jardine Cycle & Carriage in Singapore. He has previously expressed his views to AsianInvestor on the global investment environment, including interest rates and credit spreads, as reported.

Jardine Matheson is a diversified business group focused principally on Asia. It runs defined-benefit (DB) and defined-contribution pension plans across the UK, Hong Kong and Indonesia. It is responsible for the pensions of 35,000 employees in Hong Kong, of whom most are still in DB plans.

In adjudicating on its Institutional Excellence Awards, explanations of which will appear in the forthcoming December edition of AsianInvestor, we viewed that Jardines' private pension fund had gone the extra mile in terms of education, investment capabilities, plan organisation and governance.

The nature of employees across Jardine Matheson’s many businesses, which range from fast-food restaurant franchises to hotels to construction and engineering companies, calls for a more sophisticated approach than lumping everyone in the same type of plan.

The heart of what enables Jardine Matheson to manage the complexity of both its corporate structure and its investment policy is its reliance on an outsourcing model. The management realises it is not a professional investor, and so it relies on partnering fund managers, custodians, administrators and trustees.

The fund’s executives admit that at times the structure doesn’t lend itself to fast decisions when, perhaps, one is required to take advantage of market conditions. They have reacted by finding appropriate instruments, such as exchange-traded funds, to access opportunities without breaching the fund’s mandates or basic protections. More gradually the conglomerate has made considered moves toward alternative investments.

Jardine Matheson Holdings is incorporated in Bermuda and has a standard listing on the London Stock Exchange as its primary listing, with secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore.

Its interests include Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, Mandarin Oriental, Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Astra.