In a strategic move, Singapore’s leading transport operator, SMRT, has announced the appointment of Mr. Phua Yung Keat as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective October 1, 2023. Mr. Phua will succeed Ms. Cindy Lau, who has been serving as the Group CFO since 2017 but has decided to resign from the company to pursue her personal interests.
As the newly appointed Group CFO, Mr. Phua, 45, will assume a pivotal role in overseeing SMRT’s finance, tax, and treasury functions. His extensive financial expertise and experience are expected to bring valuable insights and leadership to the organization.
Mr. Phua’s journey to this role began in June when he joined SMRT as the Head of Strategic Finance and Vice-President for Finance. In addition to this, he also took on the role of Group Treasury Head, further highlighting his ability to take on diverse financial responsibilities within the company. SMRT spokeswoman Margaret Teo stated, “Mr. Phua provided finance business partnering support to the commercial businesses, including the RTS Operations project.” RTS Operations is the operator of an upcoming 4km rail link connecting Singapore and Johor Bahru.
This strategic appointment aligns with SMRT’s succession planning efforts and is aimed at strengthening the leadership bench to drive business growth. Mr. Phua’s extensive 20-year experience in finance, strategic investments, and business development in the mobility and urban development sectors, including significant integrated projects in China and India, positions him as a seasoned leader ready to navigate the challenges and opportunities within the industry.
Prior to his role at SMRT, Mr. Phua held leadership positions at the renowned urban development firm Ascendas-Singbridge, demonstrating his prowess in the field.
Ms. Cindy Lau, who has been an integral part of SMRT for the past 11 years, will continue to support the transition process as Mr. Phua’s adviser from October 1 to November 16, ensuring a seamless handover of responsibilities. Before assuming the role of Group CFO, Ms. Lau served as the company’s Vice-President for Group Finance and Shared Services, covering the Group CFO’s responsibilities following Mr. Ong Eng Keang’s resignation in 2014.
SMRT expressed its deep appreciation for Ms. Lau’s dedicated service and significant contributions to the company over the years. In response, Ms. Lau thanked the firm’s finance team for their unwavering support throughout her tenure, expressing confidence that they will extend the same support to Mr. Phua during the transition period.
The appointment of Mr. Phua Yung Keat as the new Group CFO underscores SMRT’s commitment to maintaining a strong and dynamic leadership team, poised to drive the company forward in an evolving transport landscape.