Senior banker Jeffrey Chew to spearhead new phase of growth
Petaling Jaya, 28 May 2014: The Board of Directors of Paramount Corporation Berhad (Paramount) today announced three C-suite appointments in a move that will strengthen the leadership team of this long-established property and education group as it moves into a new phase of growth.
The first of these is the appointment of Jeffrey Chew Sun Teong to the role of Group Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 July 2014. Chew joins Paramount from OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad, where he was most recently Director and CEO, a position he held since 2008.
Joining Paramount’s newly expanded management team is Beh Chun Chong, as Deputy Divisional CEO of Paramount Property, while Susan Ooi steps into the role of CEO of KDU College Petaling Jaya (PJ) and Chief Marketing Officer of both KDU University College and KDU College PJ. Beh joins Paramount from Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, where he was most recently Chief Operating Officer, while Ooi was previously Senior Vice President of Enrolment at the Taylor’s Higher Education Group.
Speaking on behalf of Paramount Corporation’s Board of Directors, its Executive Deputy Chairman, Dato’ Teo Chiang Quan, said, “We are fortunate to have Jeffrey join Paramount at such an important time in the company’s evolution. We have cemented our strategy moving forward on the concept of ‘strength through synergy’ – our aim is to make the most of the two strong brands we have in Paramount Property and the KDU Education Group. Jeffrey’s experience in driving corporate growth, and his talent for combining innovation with human capital development makes him the ideal candidate to lead Paramount at this time.
“We are confident that both our property and education businesses will benefit significantly from his insightful analysis of how the markets in these two categories are developing, and how Paramount can make the most of its strong track record and experience in this area. The appointments of Beh and Ooi, both experienced professionals in the property and education businesses respectively, will complement our current bench strength to drive this vision forward,” he said.
Dato’ Teo also indicated that he would relinquish his current position as Group CEO of Paramount upon Chew’s appointment.
Chew is a corporate entrepreneur with 28 years of experience in the banking and finance industry as well as in accounting and tax/auditing. An accountant by training, he kick-started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he served for five years. During his six years at the helm of the OCBC banking group, he introduced and led various innovative initiatives to strengthen the franchise and grow the business.
Commenting on the appointment, Chew said, “Having enjoyed my time in various different areas of the domestic banking and finance industry, I was looking for new challenges, particularly in the fields of property and education – two areas which I feel can contribute significantly to nation building, and in which I have a keen interest.
“Paramount’s challenge moving forward – to realise and maximise the synergies between the two business, was something that I found very attractive. Paramount already has a long and reputable track record in both property and education. The opportunity to build on this strong foundation and really make a difference was an exciting prospect, and I’m looking forward to working with the Paramount team on this.”
Beh was previously Chief Operating Officer at Ireka Development Management Sdn Bhd, a position held since 2012. An engineer by training, he has 20 years of experience in the property and construction industry, helming a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from residential to commercial. His appointment at Paramount is effective 2 June 2014.
Beh will work closely with Paramount Property’s CEO Dato’ Ricque Liew to move the property division from its current anchor of landed township development to being a fully integrated developer, with a full complement of properties ranging from townships, through to commercial, retail and integrated developments. Currently, Paramount Property’s projects are concentrated in the Klang Valley, Sungai Petani and Penang.
Ooi, whose appointment is also effective 2 June 2014, will be primarily responsible for the management of KDU College PJ and leading all marketing initiatives for KDU University College and KDU College PJ.
Ooi has more than 20 years of experience in the private higher education sector, overseeing all areas from enrolment and academic services to business development as well as sales and marketing. She was previously Senior Vice President of Enrolment at the Taylor’s Higher Education Group, where she has improved operations to increase student numbers and grow the brand locally and regionally.
Dato’ Teo highlighted, “In property development, Paramount is working hard to become more design-driven, working with new partners to bring new, innovative products to the industry. While our focus at the KDU Education Group is the quality of the education we provide and how we bring this quality to life in new and significant ways.
“These new appointments will strengthen our leadership team, and move the Group into a new phase of growth; strengthening the Paramount brand and its promise of being ‘old hands, young hearts™’, while building value for our customers and stakeholders,” he concluded.