Opening Address by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade & Industry and Deputy Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Official Opening of UBS Wealth Management Campus - Asia Pacific, 13 April 2007, The Command House, Singapore
Mr Peter Wuffli,
Mrs Kathryn Shih,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
1 A very good afternoon to you all. I am delighted to join you here to celebrate the official opening of the UBS Wealth Management Campus – Asia Pacific.
2 Asia’s growth trajectory upward is not only led by economic powerhouses China and India, but also a re-energised Japan, and an increasingly integrated ASEAN. This mounting prosperity has led to unprecedented wealth creation. By market estimates Asia's wealth has grown tremendously. Singapore, at the heart of Asia, has itself rode on the wave of growth to become a leading wealth management hub in Asia. Besides serving the domestic market, many of the top private banks have also chosen Singapore as the launch pad for their expansion strategies in Asia.
UBS Wealth Management Campus - Asia Pacific
3 As the world’s largest wealth manager, and a major player in the region and Singapore, UBS is in a unique position to grow rapidly with a rising Asia. The launch of the UBS Wealth Management Campus today is therefore of special significance. Firstly, it demonstrates UBS’s vision to choose Singapore to start Asia’s first full-fledged wealth management campus. Secondly, it marks an important milestone in our efforts to develop Singapore as a financial training and research hub in the region.
4 The wealth of every nation, and industry, for that matter, accrues largely to the quality of its people – how they spearhead the development of new capabilities, products and service levels. This is all the more crucial for the wealth management industry, which is a people-centric business built entirely on trusted advice and deep relationships. As the industry saying goes: “the business of private banking is only as good as the private bankers you have”.
5 The establishment of the Campus is therefore timely – not just to add to the number of private bankers to support the surge in demand for professional wealth management services, but also to produce a new breed of high-caliber private bankers who can manage increasingly complex and sophisticated demands from a younger and more savvy generation of wealth transfer beneficiaries, entrepreneurs, professionals and investors joining the pool of wealth owners.
6 Let me now elaborate on the crucial contributions of this Campus.
a. First, the Campus will be a boost to our efforts to build a strong pipeline of new and competent people into the wealth management industry. The brand-name of UBS adds diversity and choice for the best and brightest talents here and in the region, and contributes to developing Singapore as an intellectual talent hub that top students and working professionals will naturally gravitate towards.
b. Second, the Campus vindicates UBS’ industry leadership to raise the competencies of existing wealth management talents and leaders, which is in line with Singapore’s efforts in attracting and developing talent. UBS is a pioneer in setting up the Campus in Singapore, and I hope this would inspire others to explore the value of setting up similar centres of excellence in wealth management education and training. Such a cluster of centres would enable the institutions to create synergy through exchanges of best practices and ideas.
c. Third, the Campus plays an important role in spearheading the use of the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS). Under our FICS framework, UBS is accredited as both a financial training provider and assessment service provider for two job roles in the Relationship Management - High Net-Worth category under the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS). Since then, I am pleased to note that UBS has moved on to be the first financial institution to receive accreditation for all job roles under this category, and is now working towards implementing FICS for the full spectrum of job families under the wealth management segment. This ranges from relationship management to investment advisory to trusts and estate planning. This reflects the relevance of FICS as the national benchmark that practitioners should aspire to, and supports our efforts to systematically raise the quality and professionalism of our workforce.
d. Finally, it is commendable that the Campus is not just focusing on education and training, but is also serving as a centre of excellence in research and innovation in wealth management. It will add to Singapore’s existing world-class partnerships in research and teaching between top universities and local universities (For example, the NUS-Berkeley Risk Management Institute). This, together with the strong network of financial research centres of excellence (such as the INSEAD Asia Pacific Institute of Finance, and SMU-BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre) will broaden Singapore’s knowledge base and research depth, and speed up the development of cutting-edge products and services, technologies and break-through solutions to bring wealth management services to a higher plane.
7 Ladies and gentlemen, let me add that this is indeed an exciting time to be in Asia. Economies are growing, and new opportunities in financial services are opening up. My colleagues and I at the MAS are pleased to be a partner of UBS in this new and exciting venture. I congratulate Mr Peter Wuffli, Mrs Kathryn Shih and the rest of the UBS Wealth Management Campus – Asia Pacific on this happy day, and wish you every success.