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Freight forwarding, land transport, fashion and real estate

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – Mark Yip’s move from Singapore’s listed property giant City Developments Ltd (CDL) to Huttons, the fourth largest and privately-held real estate agency, is not that unconventional if one considers his career which spans five different industries over almost three decades.

Read more: Huttons appoints Mark Yip as new CEO

Yip joined CDL as chief marketing officer in 2014 where he was responsible for the sales and leasing for the group’s entire portfolio – from residential to office, industrial, retail properties and even Le Grove serviced apartments. Two years later, he was posted to China as CEO of CDL China. In 2018, he was also made chief revenue officer, with responsibility for the international property portfolio, which included Australia, Japan and UK.

After a six-year stint with CDL, Yip said he contemplated becoming a teacher. “I love to talk,” he confesses. “And I love to see people benefitting from it.”

Yip: I love to talk. And I love to see people benefitting from it (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

He had experienced that first-hand at another property developer, Far East Organization, where he led a team of about 300 agents. “At the peak, we had $4 billion in sales, championed by people that I had trained,” he says.

Over a span of seven years, he had risen through the ranks from general manager to deputy director at Far East Organization, before he left to join CDL.

Yip had started his career in freight forwarding and supply chain logistics, where he spent 12 years, and was last executive director of Circle-Freight/Eagle Logistics Global Corp. He then went to Comfort as general manager, where he oversaw one of the largest bus and land transport operations after the merger with Delgro to create ComfortDelgro today.

From overseeing a big fleet of buses, Yip ventured into fashion and retail, where he was CEO of Royal Sporting House, Malaysia, and also director of Puma. He was there for just two years before the group was acquired by a joint venture between Indian real estate developer MGF and Dubai- based Emaar Properties in 2007. He returned to Singapore then.

“That was my fourth industry,” says Yip. “I looked around, and I felt that brick-and-mortar was a good business. So I wrote to the CEO of one of Singapore’s biggest property firms, Far East Organization, and I joined the company as a gen- eral manager, managing their residential team.”

Unlike most property developers, Far East Organization has its own in-house team of sales per- sons. During Yip’s tenure, it was a “spartan team of 300 people”, he relates. The focus was not to rely exclusively on external sales agents to sell their projects, he explains. “And it was successful.”

That was when Yip realised that his passion lay in “leading teams and training them”. And perhaps that makes him suited for this new role as CEO of a real estate agency.