GL Restructures, Ready for Indonesian Expansion

24 Mar 2016

SET-listed digital financial firm Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL) is injecting US$ 8 million or roughly 280 million baht into its subsidiary in Indonesia as the final preparations are ready to kick-start business in this largest member state of ASEAN.

Coming after successful operations in Cambodia and Laos, the latest move into Indonesia coincides with a major corporate restructuring to streamline management and operational efficiency as the GL group grows bigger and further continues its aggressive expansion into the ASEAN markets and beyond.

The corporate restructuring saw the establishment of a new Executive Board which will supervise all operations in Thailand and overseas and the appointment of new directors, including a US financial expert, to chart growth strategies as the group pushes ahead to expand internationally. These latest moves were decided at a Board meeting on March 22 and would be tabled before the Annual General Shareholders Meeting (AGM) on April 28 for formal endorsement.

As a final preparation to launch the Indonesian operation, the GL Board decided to raise the capital of GL Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore, by US$ 8 million which will be injected into PT GL Finance Indonesia (GLFI), the Indonesian joint venture in which GL holds 65% while its strategic partner J Trust Asia and another local partner hold the remaining 20% and 15% respectively. Senior executives say all systems are ready to go as the company awaits a license from the Indonesian authorities.

GL’s corporate restructuring is necessitated by the group’s rapid expansion in recent years which has brought about new and more complex challenges. “GL today is not a simple motorcycle leasing company like before,” stated Tatsuya Konoshita, GL’s Executive Director and Chief Investor Relations Officer. “We have grown so fast in recent years and become so big that the old management structure is no longer suitable. We have become a digital finance pioneer, providing a comprehensive digital financial platform to the ASEAN markets. So, we have to restructure to make sure we move forward efficiently.”

Under the aggressive expansion policies directed by the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mitsuji Konoshita, the GL group has now grown to a total of six companies – comprising the listed mother company in Thailand plus four wholly-owned subsidiaries including Thanaban (also in Thailand), GL Holdings (Singapore), GL Finance (Cambodia) and GL Laos (Laos) plus the Indonesian joint venture.

These six companies are now put under the Business Development Office according to the new GL group organization chart and the office is under the direct supervision of the Chairman & CEO Mr. Mitsuji. Meanwhile, the IT, Accounting and Finance operations are put under the Group Business Support Office supervised by Mr. Tatsuya, who is Mr. Mitsuji’s younger brother.

Mr. Tatsuya is also appointed Chairman of a newly-established Executive Board comprising of 11 senior executives which will ensure efficient coordination and operations of the entire group while policy matters will continue to be directed by the GL main Board.

Mr. Tatsuya noted that the Board restructuring positions GL to effectively handle new challenges as the Group continues to expand internationally. “Our operations will become more diverse and complex as we further expand overseas. For instance, our loan portfolios in the various countries where we operate will deal with different currencies which require effective hands-on management,” Mr. Tatsuya said.

The appointment of an outside director like Mr. Patrick Fisher also corresponds nicely with GL’s international push. An ex-JP Morgan Chase executive, Mr. Fisher is an investment professional specializing in private equity in emerging markets who holds directorships in several companies including private and public banks and finance companies in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Aside from Mr. Fisher, the Board also decided to appoint two other new directors – GL’s new Group Chief Financial Officer Regis Martin and GLF Chief Executive Officer Riki Ishigami.

GL has recorded continuously improved performance in recent years as quarterly profits have continued to break new records. Total net profits for 2015 were 582.89 million baht, up about 400% from the previous year on the back of improved financial results in Thailand and substantial growth in profits from its overseas operations, particularly Cambodia.