Temasek has hired Grant Ferguson as a managing director in its strategic development group, where he will focus on the team's telecoms and media portfolio.

Ferguson, who returns to the "real world" after a six-month break, was previously chief financial officer of Thai mobile phone operator DTAC. It was a position that led him to be regularly voted Best CFO in Thailand by FinanceAsia readers.

Now based in Singapore, he will leverage that telecoms industry experience to manage Temasek's shareholdings in telecoms players such as SingTel and ST Telemedia, and identify new investment opportunities.

The strategic development group concentrates on major investments in long-term assets and Temasek's approach -as befits an investor that manages public money - is more structured than entrepreneurial. "It is a challenging move," admits Ferguson. "Temasek is a very selective investor and follows a very stringent approval process."

The move from Bangkok to Singapore brings him just one step away from completing a full-house of major south-east Asian capitals. As treasurer and then CFO of First Pacific he was based in Hong Kong and Jakarta, and then as CFO of Metro Pacific he worked in Manila before moving to Thailand to take up the DTAC job. Only Kuala Lumpur still eludes him.

His appointment also re-affirm's Temasek's strategy of hiring more international managers. Over the long-term term, the group has said it wants two thirds of its employees to be non-Singaporeans and aims for a balanced portfolio of assets - with one third in Singapore, one third in Asia and one third in the rest of the world.