Published Date: 19 September 2006

Short Remarks by Deputy Managing Director Shane Tregillis at Launch of Securities and Investment Institute Regional Centre at Fullerton Hotel on 19 September 2006 at 5.15 pm

"Developing a Deep Pool of Financial Talent"

Ladies and gentlemen,

1   I am delighted to be here with you this afternoon at the launch of the Securities and Investment Institute's regional centre in Singapore.

2   In a recent study by the Corporation of London, the availability of skilled personnel was cited as the single most important competitive factor affecting international financial centres.  The opening of this centre is therefore timely, given the Singapore Government's focus on human capital development in further enhancing Singapore's role as an international financial centre.

Growth of the Singapore Financial Sector

3   Singapore's financial sector has performed well over the last few years, growing at 6.5% in 2005 and is expected to grow strongly again this year.  With the expansion in wealth management activities and growing sophistication of our investors, we see heightened interests in alternative asset classes such as hedge funds, real estate and infrastructure investments, and commodity derivatives.  There is also mounting interest in structured debt products such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.

Growing Need for a Deep Pool of Financial Talent

4   So what do these trends mean for Singapore?  The capital market is increasingly competing on the basis of product innovation and differentiated services.  To stay at the forefront of these developments, talent will be a key enabler. 

5   So we have identified two key priorities.  First, we will need to enlarge our talent pool by building a strong pipeline of talent into the financial sector.  Second, we need to raise the capabilities of the financial professionals already working in the sector. This is where the Securities and Investment Institute can play an important role.

6   The increased complexity and sophistication of the capital markets has led to a strong demand for specialist expertise in alternative and structured products. The Securities and Investment Institute, as a leading examining, training and membership body for the securities and investment industry, can help raise the skills of professionals working in the finance sector so they can keep pace with the product innovation and rapid changes in our capital markets.

7   I understand that the Securities and Investment Institute is in discussion with the Institute of Banking and Finance to seek accreditation and exemptions for its qualifications under the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) framework.  This framework was launched last year to benchmark competency standards of financial professionals to international best practices.  With the provision of preparatory training programmes on its examinations (through its training partners) and its assessment services, the Securities and Investment Institute can help securities and investment professionals to continually upgrade their capabilities.

8   I am also happy to note that the Securities and Investment Institute has entered into a strategic alliance with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and will be signing a global Memorandum of Understanding later in this event.  Strong collaborations between industry associations and professional bodies are important to raising professionalism and ethical standards of the industry.


9   To conclude, this is an exciting and challenging time for the financial sector in Singapore and the region.  Talent will drive the growth of the industry, and financial institutions must continually invest in upgrading their people's knowledge and skills.  MAS will continue to work with industry players to achieve our common objective of developing a deep pool of financial talent here in Singapore.

10   On that note, I congratulate the Securities and Investment Institute on the opening of their regional office and wish all of you a pleasant evening.  Thank you.