Slew of new executive appointments at PropertyGuru
By Digital News Asia February 13, 2013
- Michael Karb and Christine Loo appointed chief financial officer and chief people and culture officer respectively
- Former Reapfield CEO and real estate industry vet Gerard Kho appointed country manager of Malaysian operations
THE PropertyGuru Group has announced a slew of executive appointments, including a country manager for its Malaysian subsidiary.
Michael Karb (pic), who has been appointed chief financial officer of the PropertyGuru Group, was instrumental in securing and finalizing the strategic investment process between PropertyGuru and ImmobilienScout24 last year, the largest deal of its kind in the digital media space in South-East Asia.
Deutsche Telekom subsidiary ImmobilienScout24, one of the top online property portals in Europe, invested S$60 million (about US$47 million at the time) in PropertyGuru.
In his new post, Karb — whose expertise lies in mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and analysis, and business analytics — will oversee the management and coordination of all financial reporting activities at PropertyGuru.
In addition, he will be responsible for, among other things, PropertyGuru’s regional finances across its offices in four countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia) and fine-tuning reporting issues, the group said in a statement.
Prior to this, Karb spent six years with Scout24 as vice-president controlling, reporting to its group chief financial officer.
Meanwhile, as chief people and culture officer (CPCO), Christine Loo would be responsible for ensuring that the values of PropertyGuru are effectively communicated and understood by employees at all levels.
She will see to the development of a high-performance culture in the company, establish a comprehensive workforce strategy to hire, recruit and train talents to meet its performance and growth objectives, as well as provide clarity towards the expected behavior of all PropertyGuru employees.
The two new hires at the group level are aligned with PropertyGuru’s aim of maintaining exponential growth in revenue numbers and dominant market share in 2013, according to PropertyGuru co-founder and group CEO Steve Melhuish.
“Michael’s (Karb) vast experience and know-how as chief financial officer will safeguard governance and control processes, while fostering and cultivating stakeholder relationships in each core market.
“Christine (Loo) boasts an impressive track record with several high-profile organizations where she worked with senior leadership teams, and contributed to the successful execution of their business strategies. With her on board to build PropertyGuru’s human capital base, all our employees are ready and equipped with comparable expertise to take on new challenges in the new year,” he said.
Country head for Malaysia
PropertyGuru also appointed Gerard Kho (pic) as its new Malaysia country manager, effective Feb 1.
Kho will oversee all aspects of the Malaysian-based operations, including day-to-day operations in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and the Iskandar region in Johor, as well as to promote the company’s rapid expansion within the online portal market amongst consumers and advertiser clients.
He brings a wealth of experience and vast industry knowledge to his new position, having spent a decade in fast-developing real estate markets such as Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Formerly chief executive officer at Reapfield, Malaysia’s largest real estate agency, he was responsible for successfully growing its revenue base within four years by 90% and garnered a slew of property-related awards such as the MIEA Real Estate Agency of the Year for four consecutive years (2009-2012) and in the Specialized Category for Education in 2012.
Prior to that, Kho had served in various capacities at Reapfield, and was managing director at Elders Singapore & Malaysia and a partner at Elders Real Estate Pyrmont, Sydney. He also co-authored the Thrust in 2012, a publication on the Malaysian real estate industry, and is a notable industry speaker.
“I’m excited about my new position and the growth potential for PropertyGuru.com.my. As the fastest growing online property portal in Malaysia, there’s great opportunity for us to further establish ourselves as the preferred choice for consumers when it comes to buying or renting property or looking for market intelligence,” said Kho.
Kho’s appointment comes at a pivotal time with the explosive growth of its business within Malaysia and regionally, said Melhuish.
“We’re delighted to welcome a high-calibre individual of Gerard’s (Kho) standing to lead our Malaysia business. He is a well-known and well respected leader with a wealth of real estate industry experience and outstanding leadership skills that will further accelerate our growth in Malaysia,” he added.