Published Date: 20 September 2005

MD's Congratulatory Remarks atOfficial Launch of INSEAD's Asia Pacific Institute of Finance (APIF)20 September 2005

Prof Hellmut Schutte,
Prof Pierre Hillion,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

 I'm delighted to join you all at this official launch of the Asia Pacific Institute of Finance (APIF).

INSEAD Today - 'One School, Two Campuses, Three Continents'

2   INSEAD has made remarkable progress as a global business school.  Adopting a  "One School, Two Campuses, Three Continents" concept, INSEAD offers an unique global perspective by tapping on the strengths of its two campuses in Fountainebleau and Singapore, as well as that of the Wharton School.  INSEAD students have unparalleled opportunity to immerse and experience first-hand the business culture and environment in Asia, Europe and America through its Campus Exchange Programme.

3   The INSEAD Asia Campus is Asia's first international business school with a full campus, and ranks as among Asia's best.  This Campus brings to Singapore world-class teaching and research, and a strong linkage with industry. The Asia campus has become a magnet for INSEAD's students globally.  Last year, for the first time in the history of INSEAD's alliance with Wharton, the number of Wharton MBA students who came to Singapore for the exchange programme was equal to the number who went to Fountainebleau.  These developments vindicate INSEAD's foresight in setting up a full-fledged campus in Singapore.

Opportunities and Challenges Presented by Asia

4   Asia, led by China, India and an increasingly integrated ASEAN, is powering ahead as the fastest growing region in the world. This rapid growth generates new demands for financial services - from expanding Asian corporates, governments and a growing pool of middle-class consumers.

5   However, doing business in Asia has its own challenges.  The financial systems in various parts of Asia are at different stages of development.   But each is evolving to meet the growing demands and challenges.  Each market presents specific opportunities, challenges and risks. 

6   To stay relevant, practitioners and policy makers need to stay at the forefront of development, to continuously enhance our understanding and develop our expertise.  A deep understanding of Asian markets is necessary to appreciate the opportunities and risks, and to better develop policies and practical solutions to meet the evolving needs of Asian corporates and investors.  Financial research and education, focusing on Asia, is hence of critical importance.   

Asia-Pacific Institute of Finance (APIF)

7   INSEAD's launch of APIF today is therefore of special significance.   Firstly, it demonstrates once again INSEAD's vision to strengthen its presence in Asia by establishing a centre of excellence that focus on Asian finance.  Secondly, it marks an important milestone in our efforts to develop Singapore as a global financial training and research hub.

8   I am happy to note that APIF's 5 target areas of focus, namely Corporate Governance, Enterprise-wide Risk Management, Corporate Finance, Wealth management and Islamic Banking and Shariah-compliant Asset Management, are also the areas that MAS is promoting.   APIF's work will speed up the building of capabilities for the continued growth of these sectors.

9   I hope APIF can play two key roles.  Firstly, APIF can act a catalyst and creator of inter-disciplinary knowledge and research.  The discipline of finance cuts across business, management, mathematics, computing, engineering, accounting and economics. Being part of the INSEAD family, APIF has unprecedented access to the deep reservoir of research expertise in INSEAD's 15 research centres of excellence.  I hope APIF can continue to tap on the broad range of inter-disciplinary expertise of its Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses, as well as its joint Alliance Center for Global Research and Development with Wharton.

10   Secondly, APIF can serve as a bridge between financial research and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.  APIF stands to benefit from INSEADs headstart in 1975 when its first programme on Asian business was launched in Singapore. INSEAD's network of global alumni is a strategic resource.  They come from more than 150 countries, with many of them holding positions of influence in public, private and non-profit sectors. APIF can become a focal point to harness this network on financial market research and education, and help create solutions to overcome the challenges of doing business in Asia..  


11   My colleagues and I at the MAS are pleased to be a partner of INSEAD in the setting up of APIF.  The launch of the APIF is an important milestone for both INSEAD and for Singapore's development as an education and research hub for finance in Asia. I congratulate Prof Hellmut Schutte, Prof Pierre Hillion and the staff of APIF on this happy day, and wish you every success.