Speech By Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister Of State For Finance And Transport at The MOU Signing Ceremony Between Nanyang Polytechnic And Investment Management Association Of Singapore
Mr Lester Gray Chairman Investment Management Association of Singapore
Mr Chan Lee Mun Principal & CEO Nanyang Polytechnic
Ladies & Gentlemen
1 I am pleased to join you today for the MOU signing ceremony between Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) and the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS).
2 I would like to commend IMAS and NYP for joining hands to provide training in the areas of fund management and administration. With its focus on manpower development programmes and services to businesses and industry, I believe that NYP is in a good position to work with IMAS to cater to the fund management and fund administration industry's needs.
Growth of the Fund Management and Fund Administration Industry
3 There has been a significant wealth build up in Asia, thanks to the buoyant expansion of China and India, the recovery of Japan, and good economic performances in ASEAN. This is driving demand for professional fund management. Asian markets are themselves now offering attractive investment opportunities and higher returns than the more developed economies.
4 Singapore as an established financial centre has seen encouraging growth in its fund management industry on the back of such prosperity and development. Assets under management here have recorded a commendable double-digit growth rate for each of the past 6 years, reaching S$900 billion in 2006.
5 Along with the increased diversity of Asian fund products, the fund administration industry has, not surprisingly, been expanding strongly to meet the attendant rise in demand for outsourced fund services within the same time zone. Fund administrators perform a number of important post-trade fund services including fund valuation, management and incentive fee calculation, risk management and client reporting. The number of both traditional and hedge fund administrators based in Singapore has grown to around 12.
6 This boom in both the fund management and administration industry has led to the establishment of a much larger community of investment and fund administration professionals here. In MAS' 2006 annual asset management survey report, the number of investment professionals increased by a whopping 23% to around 1,800 as at end 2006. To date, the fund administration industry employs around 600 fund administration professionals.
Building Talent & Expertise in Fund Management
7 Growing the pool of skilled talent and professionals in Singapore is key to supporting the continued growth of the asset management and fund administration industry. The private sector and the industry have taken the lead to increase the pipeline. In 2005, the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) launched the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) framework Developed by the industry for the industry, the framework sets out benchmarks for professional achievement for our financial sector workforce and training providers. The standards cover a broad spectrum of job families in the financial sector, including fund administration.
8 In light of these needs, the collaboration between NYP and IMAS should be commended as they will jointly provide specialized training of skills in areas of relevance to the fund management and administration industry for both the entry level practitioners as well as ongoing professional development programmes for executive level professionals.
9 NYP has consulted extensively with IMAS and the industry on the curriculum of its Certificate in Fund Administration programme, at the same time drawing on the competency standards framework to ensure its relevance. I understand that this programme was successfully launched in July 07 with places fully subscribed, and that the industry has requested for this programme to be run more frequently, like once every 2 months. Some of the participants are here with us today. Another customized course for Aberdeen Asset Management was completed as recently as early this month, tailored to the specific needs of the organization.
10 I am also pleased to announce that in October this year, NYP will launch the Specialist Diploma in Fund Administration, which will provide an in-depth coverage of the full value chain of the fund industry with a wide spectrum of modules including the administration of alternative investment funds, global securities operations, and risk management. The course will not only serve as enhanced continual training for fund administration professionals, but also provide a natural forum for industry practitioners, academics and course participants to interact and exchange ideas on industry best practices and global developments.
11 Attracting quality talent and sustaining the professionalism of the industry will require strong collaboration and commitment from the public sector, industry associations and private institutions. It entails continuous training, knowledge exchange and an appetite for understanding rapid and complex changes in the industry.
12 The programmes lined up by NYP and IMAS are only first steps in building up high-calibre professionals for the industry. I am confident that as greater awareness of professional training increases, more financial institutions and professional bodies will work hand in hand with educational institutions like NYP for training and development. This augurs well for Singapore as a financial hub.
13 I congratulate NYP and IMAS once again, and wish you every success.