STEVEN CHOO, a former property consultant and university lecturer, will be taking on a new role soon - as chief executive officer of the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (Redas).
BT understands that his appointment begins on Aug 1.
Dr Choo, 57, will replace retiring Redas executive director Chia Hock Jin.
Market watchers suggest that Dr Choo's appointment is part of efforts by the Redas council, led by president Simon Cheong, to spruce up the organisation and its image. Having someone who is also a well-respected professional as CEO would also bolster Redas's credibility.
'He was well liked by students when he was a university lecturer,' a former colleague said when told about Dr Choo's new job. 'He's also respected by people in the property industry as well as government officials. He talks sense and doesn't push it too much.'
An industry observer said: 'Redas needs someone knowledgeable like Dr Choo, who can hold discussions with the authorities and whom they can take with a certain seriousness. He's someone more neutral and yet who knows the market. Of course, he's also very good at doing research.'
The association is also expected to take more interest in training and development in the real estate industry, BT understands.
Analysts say that they would not be surprised if Dr Choo recruits fresh talent to boost the management team at Redas to help achieve these goals.
The former Catholic High School student holds a PhD in urban planning from the University of Washington.
He was a senior lecturer at the National University of Singapore's School of Building & Estate Management before joining Richard Ellis Property Consultants (now known as CB Richard Ellis) in 1993. Dr Choo left the firm in 1995 to join rival Jones Lang Wootton, which later became Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). In 2001, he left JLL, where he was last head of research and consultancy and regional research head.
Dr Choo later surfaced at CapitaLand, where the posts he held included senior vice-president of research and corporate development and also SVP of CapitaLand Residential's Malaysia investment department.
He left the property giant a few years ago and has since been doing property consultancy stints in the Middle East, BT understands. Dr Choo is married and has a grown-up son.
He has also served on the boards of the Singapore Land Authority and JTC Corporation in the past. He was also deputy chairman of the Economic Review Committee's Land Work Group.
He currently sits on the board of NTUC Choice Homes.
Source: Business Times, 18 July 2009