Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings has reportedly slashed compensation for executives responsible for the company’s investment into the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX. The $275 million investment loss incurred from FTX has been written off, accounting for 0.09% of Temasek’s more than $293 billion portfolio value at the time of the exchange’s collapse. While the firm’s internal review found no misconduct related to the investment, the executives involved have seen a reduction in their pay packages.
Temasek asserts that it conducted an extensive due diligence process before deciding to invest in FTX, with its chairman, Lim Boon Heng, stating that there was fraudulent conduct intentionally hidden from investors, including Temasek. Consequently, the firm experienced not only a financial loss but also reputational damage, as affirmed by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.
The due diligence process conducted by Temasek included reviewing FTX’s financial statements, assessing regulatory risks with crypto market financial service providers, and seeking legal advice over a nine-month period in 2021. The firm also engaged with individuals who had firsthand knowledge of FTX, such as employees, other investors, and industry participants.
On the other hand, the investment may have exposed a troubling aspect of the crypto market, as Temasek’s investment loss highlights the potential pitfalls that even experienced investors can encounter when dealing with relatively new and untested financial technologies. The swift collapse of FTX serves as a stark reminder that, despite due diligence efforts, unforeseen risks can result in substantial losses for investors, even those as established as Temasek Holdings.
In other crypto news, Temasek recently denied rumors that it had invested $10 million into Array, a developer of an algorithmic currency system based on smart contracts and artificial intelligence. The firm dismissed circulating news articles and tweets about such an investment, stating the news as incorrect.
Overall, the key conflicts emerging from the FTX debacle are the potential risks associated with investing in relatively new technologies and the question of responsibility. While it is essential to foster innovation and explore new investment opportunities, investors and firms must remain vigilant, balancing the potential rewards against the significant risks inherent in new financial technologies. With the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related technologies, caution and rigorous scrutiny are all the more crucial when deciding on investment strategies in this space.