Industry Related (Banking & Finance)

FIREfly-SPRING: Fuelling Growth

For one FIREfly scholar, a career at SPRING has opened many doors of opportunities – from an enriching overseas education experience to a challenging and fulfilling career.

By Lui Wen Qing

Kenrick Guo’s career at SPRING Singapore has seen him take on three different roles so far, involving two departments within SPRING and a secondment to a financial services company in the private sector.

This opportunity to be rotated among different agencies, departments, and even the private sector was the main reason why Kenrick chose the FIREfly scholarship despite having received other scholarship offers. The Raffles Institution (Junior College) alumnus says, “I valued having such diverse experiences that could give me a deep variety of breadth.”

In particular, he chose SPRING amongst other agencies under the FIREfly scholarship programme because he wanted to do something related to business, and being able to work with SMEs greatly appealed to him.

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MAS: Impacting the Future

MAS offers unrivalled insights into the financial services sector for fresh graduates keen on making a tangible contribution to the growth of the nation.

By Prasana Ramachandran

For Tan Shi Min and Samantha Wong, accountancy graduates from the Nanyang Technological University, embarking on a career with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has opened their eyes to the inner workings of the financial world. Working with MAS has given them unrivalled insights into the financial industry and opportunities that few other institutions can offer.

As the central bank of Singapore, MAS’s mission is to promote economic growth and develop the nation as a sound and progressive financial centre. The Authority conducts monetary policy, issues currency, oversees the payment systems, manages the official foreign reserves, and serves as banker to and financial agent of the government. It also supervises the financial industry and monitors the financial stability of Singapore’s economy.

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Great Eastern: Great Expectations

For life planners Wong Kooi Fong and Abel Lee, the ‘people’ factor at work is something that money can’t buy.

By Joyce Lin

When Wong Kooi Fong, 30, an Executive Life Planner with Great Eastern Life, made her first call to a prospective client, she remembered standing outside a shopping centre, trembling and hesitating for 30 minutes before pressing the ‘dial’ button – even though the other party was her close friend.

Today, a year and a half into her job, Kooi Fong exudes a quiet confidence while recounting the incident, with nary a trace of her former self. A self-confessed introvert, you would find that this is hardly the case when you talk to her.

This same type of confidence is found in Abel Lee, 25, also an Executive Life Planner, who carries himself naturally and is experienced beyond his age.

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Deloitte: A Special Touch

A warm corporate culture, energetic employees, and a commitment to excel – that is the winning formula adopted by Deloitte Singapore to strive in the changing economy.

By Lim Yan Wen

Philip Yuen has certainly come a long way from his early days as an auditor in the professional services industry. The bespectacled senior audit partner also holds the position of Chief of Operations at Deloitte – a dynamic and challenging profession which also requires long hours of commitment.

After graduating with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool, Philip obtained his professional qualification in Accountancy with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in the United Kingdom where he worked as an auditor in the early 90s. Over the years, he has moved through several roles which also involve managing and developing talents – an aspect of his work that gives him great satisfaction.

“I enjoy dealing with people a lot. It is very fulfilling for me to see our people grow from a junior auditor to a manager and even partner within the firm. When it comes to serving our clients, there is also a great sense of achievement for me as we help in the development of our clients, some growing from a small set-up to a listed company and then expanding regionally,” Philip says.

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ICA: Compliance is Better than Cure

By Tricia Chan

Andrew Glover, Regional Director of the International Compliance Association (ICA), talks about compliance the way a tech junkie might talk about the latest iPhone.

“You can wind me up and I can talk about compliance all day,” says Andrew, 46, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years. The key aim of compliance officers is to ensure that businesses and corporations comply with relevant laws and regulations in a changing financial landscape.

At ICA, which conducts courses on compliance, financial crime prevention and anti-money-laundering, the ultimate goal is for “people to leave the workshops with something they can take back to the office and actually change things for the better, for themselves, for their firms, for the industry, and ultimately, for the consumer”.


MDIS: Preparing Yourself for the Marketplace

By Joyce Lin

There are some jobs that offer stability even in times of economic uncertainty, such as the field of accounting, which remains relevant and necessary to almost every company regardless of its industry. And for Clement Chan, 28, choosing the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) to further his education has given him a good and stable career as an auditor which he enjoys today.

Clement first graduated with a diploma in Accountancy from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and decided to further his education with MDIS thereafter. “I have always had a passion for numbers and I heard from my friends that accountancy would provide a good career path,” he explains. “So I enrolled in MDIS after coming across an advertisement in the newspapers and ascertaining that it was a reputable school to enrol in.”

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NUS: Wisdom Beyond Age

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

For Sim Kwang Mong, the world is a municipal learning ground. This 45-year-old and National University of Singapore (NUS) alumnus embodies the significance of lifelong learning and is an inspiration to many.

Kwang Mong, currently a full-time engineer at an agency of scientific research, shares that his desire to remain current was his impetus for pursuing a part-time degree in NUS after 20 years in the workforce.

“One of the main driving forces for me was to keep up with current technology and be connected,” he explains. “The part-time Bachelor of Technology course that I took up in NUS was relevant to my work.”

Some professionals would be hesitant, albeit keen, on diving back into education after securing careers in the workforce. But for Kwang Mong, learning is a lifelong practice. He believed that by furthering his education in NUS, he would become a more valuable asset to both his company and the industry. “NUS has a good global standing, being one of the well-recognised universities in the world. Taking a course there will add to your skill sets.”

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ICAEW: An Industry Beyond Numbers

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

A successful career in accounting is not limited to a paraphernalia of financial numbers and the like. This frequent assumption, as Mark Billington, South East Asia Regional Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) puts it, “is a common misperception, and far from the truth”.

“Much of number-orientated work in accountancy can now be done automatically by computers or calculators,” Mark says. “As you become more senior, it’s less about numbers and more about decision support, business strategy and communicating with senior business leaders, as well as winning support for your ideas.”

That’s where the ICAEW comes in. The institute established its roots in Singapore last year, offering its internationally recognised Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification to local students.

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Lim & Tan Securities: Entrepreneurship with Security and Support

By Tan Yan Shuo

After 33 years in the chemicals industry, Albert Tye was able to leave behind a successful career for a comfortable retirement. However, he still had enough fire in his belly to tackle the challenge of a career change, and made the big leap from chemicals to stock trading.

Today, Albert is a trading representative with Lim & Tan Securities. More specifically, he is a mobile broker. Although like other trading representatives, he helps customers buy and sell shares in the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and other stock exchanges around the world, the father of three enjoys significant advantages.

“Unlike other trade reps, who need to stay in office from nine to five, mobile brokers have flexible working hours, and can choose to work from home or anywhere,” he explains. “It is ideal for mid-career professionals like me who are married with children.”

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Great Eastern Life: Making Life Great With Small Favours

By Charlene Tan

“Great Eastern’s Centre for Excellence has given me the knowledge, skills and the right attitude to keep persevering to drive my knowledge and skills,” says Louis Ching, a Senior Associate Manager with Great Eastern Life Assurance. Today, his title reflects that he’s scaled the mountain of success, yet he humbly adds that “the climb up the mountain is more fun than being at the mountain top”.

About five years ago, after hitting the big ”three-O”, Louis decided to leave a well-paying job in the civil service to answer his inner thirst to join the business world. “I realised that insurance is a good business model, never out of fashion, with no start-up cost.” Yet facts and figures aside, Louis found that the insurance industry held deeper meaning both for himself and people around him.

Commissioned with a goal to make life great for clients, Great Eastern takes pride in grooming their team to help people achieve their financial goals and receive maximum coverage for their families.

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