Temasek Takes Accountability for FTX Investment: A Valuable Lesson Learned

In a notable response to its investment in the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Temasek Holdings, a state-backed investor from Singapore, has announced a reduction in compensation for the investment team and senior management responsible for recommending the ill-fated venture. Although there were no findings of misconduct, Temasek’s management has collectively accepted responsibility for their actions. The decision follows an internal review of their involvement in the failed investment, which resulted in a substantial write-down of $275 million. This turn of events has not only caused financial repercussions for Temasek but has also had a negative impact on its reputation.



Approximately six months ago, Temasek Holdings initiated an internal review of its FTX investment, leading to the devaluation of its holding by $275 million. This loss represented a mere 0.09% of Temasek’s net portfolio value as of March 31st, 2022, indicating that while significant, the investment did not pose an existential threat to the organization. It is important to note that Temasek clarified it currently has no direct exposure to cryptocurrencies.

Initial Due Diligence and Allegations of Fraud:

Prior to investing in FTX, Temasek conducted thorough due diligence, relying on audited financial statements that indicated profitability at the time. However, following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, allegations of fraudulent conduct emerged, implicating key executives at FTX, including its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. These allegations came as a shock to Temasek and other investors, such as SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund and Sequoia Capital, who also wrote off their investments entirely.

FTX’s Collapse and Legal Consequences:

The collapse of FTX during the cryptocurrency market downturn of 2022 was a significant event that reverberated throughout the industry. From a valuation of nearly $30 billion, the exchange’s worth plummeted to zero overnight, leaving investors reeling. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, and other top executives have faced legal action for their alleged misappropriation of consumer funds. The bankruptcy of FTX not only resulted in substantial financial losses for investors but also dealt a blow to the reputation of individuals and organizations involved.


Temasek’s decision to reduce the compensation of the management team responsible for the FTX investment signifies a commitment to accountability and responsible governance. Chairman Lim Boon Heng stressed that no misconduct was discovered but acknowledged the negative impact on Temasek’s reputation. While the exact amount of the compensation reduction was not disclosed, this measure seeks to address the consequences of the failed investment and underscore the importance of thorough evaluation and risk management.

In the aftermath of the FTX investment, Temasek Holdings is poised to learn from its experiences and make necessary adjustments to prevent future missteps. The company’s commitment to accountability and responsible governance will likely result in a comprehensive reassessment of its investment practices and risk management protocols. By implementing stricter due diligence measures and enhancing oversight processes, Temasek aims to mitigate the potential risks associated with volatile sectors like cryptocurrency.

The reduced compensation for the management team involved in the FTX investment serves as a symbolic gesture of collective accountability. It underscores the importance of integrity and transparency within Temasek, as well as the commitment to safeguarding stakeholders’ interests. This decisive action can help restore faith in the organization and demonstrate its dedication to rectifying past mistakes.

The lessons learned from the FTX investment will likely resonate across the investment landscape, prompting other organizations to reevaluate their risk assessment processes. The collapse of FTX and the subsequent allegations of fraud have highlighted the need for heightened scrutiny and independent verification of financial information, especially within emerging and high-risk sectors.

As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, regulatory bodies worldwide are also likely to strengthen their oversight and implement stricter measures to protect investors. The FTX case serves as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with the unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency industry, and it could spur regulators to establish clearer guidelines and enhanced investor protections.

Temasek Holdings’ decision to reduce compensation for the management team involved in the FTX investment demonstrates its commitment to accountability and responsible governance. By learning from this experience, Temasek aims to fortify its investment practices and rebuild its reputation. The lessons learned from the FTX collapse will likely prompt industry-wide reflection and potential regulatory changes, contributing to a more robust and secure investment environment in the future.