Executive moves: Kimly engages former directors Lim and Chia as independent consultants

Kedai Kopi, a Singapore-style coffee shop, with a Tenderbest outlet, located at Haig Road in Singapore’s Geylang neighborhood. Photo taken October 2021Kedai Kopi, a Singapore-style coffee shop, with a Tenderbest outlet, located at Haig Road in Singapore’s Geylang neighborhood. Photo taken October 2021

Singapore-style coffeeshop operator Kimly said Wednesday it has engaged former Executive Chairman Lim Hee Lian and former Executive Director Chia Cher Khiang as independent consultants. 

The move followed Lim and Chia resolving their admission to violations of the Securities and Futures Act, the company said in a filing to SGX. 

In mid-February, Lim was fined S$150,000 and Chia was fined S$100,000, after admitting to charges under the Securities and Futures Act; in addition, both Lim and Chia will be disqualified from acting as directors and/or directly or indirectly managing a company for five years.

The charges against Lim and Chia were related to the company’s failure to notify Singapore Exchange that its acquisition of Asian Story Corp. (ASC) was an interested-person transaction, and that Lim had failed to disclose ASC was partially beneficially owned by him.

Kimly rescinded the acquisition in 2018 and received back all the consideration it had paid.

After Lim and Chia resigned as directors in November 2021, Kimly had requested they remain employees of the company to assist in the management transition.

Kimly said Wednesday Lim and Chia would provide advisory and consultancy services on developing business strategies, including expanding the coffee shop segment with new concepts. In addition, the two will improve cost efficiency, work on streamlining operations, including central kitchens, and identifying business opportunities, the filing said. 

In approving the consultant roles, Kimly said it considered Lim’s role as the founding shareholder, Chia’s contributions to the group since joining in 2006, their substantial stakes in the company and their familiarity with the company. 

In addition, Kimly noted “their remorse and regret at their misjudgement resulting in the aforesaid non-compliance with the Securities and Futures Act 2001, and their conduct, commitment and co-operation since then to minimise any adverse impact on the group and indeed to continue to promote the interest of the group and its businesses.”