11 Dec 2018

Community - People

Looking Ahead: A Better Financial System, a Better Singapore

Ranked among the top most open economies in the world, Singapore’s vibrant financial sector has always enjoyed a healthy inward flow of global investments and businesses. But how can the industry pass on such progress to its people, and also ensure sustainable growth in light of regional competition? Here are what some Singaporean finance professionals based overseas project for the sector’s future.


What is the role of finance in driving the betterment of Singapore and its impact on people’s lives? Over the past month, we have featured a couple of our very own members from the Overseas Singaporeans in Finance (OSF) LinkedIn group. Andrew, Felicity, Joseph and Wee Ming shared their thoughts on the matter as well as their aspirations for this community of overseas Singaporeans in the banking and finance sector.


OSF Group members Felicity, Andrew, Wee Ming and Joseph (left to right)


In our conversations with them, we covered issues ranging from FinTech to women leaders in the finance sector.


London-based Chartered Financial Analyst Andrew Yeo mooted that a push in FinTech will steer the transformation of Singapore’s financial service sector in a positive way. Applauding the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s openness in embracing the evolving FinTech scene, he added that: “in order for Singapore to continue its lead in Asia, we need to be at the forefront and supportive of FinTech firms to spearhead innovations.”


Sharing the same ambition for Singapore’s finance industry, Perth-based Joseph Hoe — Founding Executive of the Western Australia-Singapore Business Connect and Senior Financial Planner with Wealthwise — divulged that he takes interests in the accelerating adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Singapore’s financial sector, particularly in how different players are coming together to foster a thriving AI financial ecosystem. He added that as a Singaporean, he hopes that Singapore’s financial service industry will “one day become a global leader in efficiency and efficacy, and champion value-adding opportunities that will positively impact our nation.”


Advancements in the finance sector often stream down to the community at large. Sydney-based Ng Wee Ming, a Senior Product Manager with BT Financial Group, explained that having a robust financial education system and a holistic services ecosystem play a colossal role in improving the lives of people in both banked and unbanked populations. Having started with a simple curiosity to learn how businesses and the world of finance works himself, he believes that “Improved financial literacy and services such as impact investing can definitely bring about long-term positive social outcomes.”


At an individual level, New York-based Felicity Tan, Managing Director with Archegos Capital, shared that the investment management sector is one that can offer women a rewarding career while allowing them to juggle the different hats (or shoes) they wear. As a working mother with two children herself, she encourages more women to enter the financial services industry, stay on, and eventually become movers and shakers of the financial services industry.


Calling for more overseas Singaporeans working in the financial scene to join this community, all four individuals concur that there’s great potential in an open platform for professionals to share cross-border advice and insights on career opportunities and relocation. Pinned as go-to resource point, Joseph, who has over 19-years’ experience in the sector, aptly summed up this community as a “a central ecosystem …(that) connects and builds synergies with each other.” Turning it up a notch, Andrew also hopes that this community can move on to face-to-face gatherings and exchanges in the near future.


The outlook of a career in Singapore’s finance sector remains bright and optimistic. With greater career growth opportunities, Andrew added that he looks forward to more overseas Singaporean talents returning home and being a part of our future economy. On that note, Felicity wisely reminded finance professionals to not “just focus on doing a good job, (but to also) take the time to grab coffee with people.” After all, this industry is about supporting and enabling the people.


If you are or know of any Singaporeans in the banking or finance sector that are currently based overseas, from fresh graduates to business owners, you may join the conversation at this LinkedIn group! This LinkedIn group is a joint initiative by Overseas Singapore Unit, Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore.


Read the stories of Singaporeans living overseas.