Jardine Matheson Chairman Sir Henry Keswick will retire with effect from the end of this year as he has reached his 80th birthday, the company said in a press release dated on Friday, but filed to SGX on Monday.
Sir Henry, who will be appointed chairman emeritus on 31 December, will be replaced by Ben Keswick as executive chairman and Ben Keswick will continue in his role as managing director, it said.
In a separate filing, Jardine Strategic said that Sir Henry would retire from its board with effect from 31 December as well, with Ben Keswick also replacing him as chairman.
“Ben’s succession has been progressing for a number of years and I have great confidence that he will continue to drive the business to further success,” Sir Henry said in the statement.
Ben Keswick noted that Sir Henry had been “central” to the company for more than 50 years.
“Deeply rooted in China, where he was born, and in Hong Kong, his understanding of Asia’s dynamic business climate and his personal friendships with its business and political leaders have been a tremendous asset to Jardines,” the incoming chairman said in the statement.
“Jardines’ position in mainland China and Hong Kong has been transformed and its presence in Southeast Asia has been greatly extended,” he added.
He noted that Jardine Matheson’s net assets have grown to US$26 billion currently from US$70 million in 1972 when Sir Henry became chairman.
Dairy Farm International, Mandarin Oriental and Hongkong Land Holdings — all under the Jardine umbrella — also announced Sir Henry would retire from their boards at the end of the year.
This article was originally published on Monday 1 October 2018 at 9:00 A.M. SGT; it has since been updated.