Our general manager, Pan Zaixian has recently been interviewed by The Business Times to share his views on the increasing number of local talent, nowadays, occupying leading positions.
Industry watchers say that there now appears to be a concerted effort by financial sector employers to seek out local talent. “While previously these same institutions may have paid lip service to this and did not really execute it through at the hiring level, recently became much more of a focus,” says Pan Zaixian, the general manager of Kerry Consulting.
Yet, institutions are also careful not to appear too insular by only hiring locals, he adds. And in cases where a niche or specialised skill cannot be found from the local pool, employers would still consider overseas talent.
But overall, more roles that were previously occupied by senior expatriates are today held by local employees who have progressed within their respective organisations. There is a trend of more locals occupying senior positions in international banks, notes George McFerran, managing director, APAC, at eFinancialCareers.
Han Kwee Juan, the CEO of Citibank Singapore, is one example of a Singaporean who climbed through the ranks of an international bank before taking the top job.
In the private equity business, Tan Chin Hwee broke barriers to be the first Asian partner of Apollo Global Management, the US-headquartered US$115 billion alternative investment firm founded by Wall Street legend Leon Black.
Other Singaporeans who have found similar success include Edmund Koh, formerly of Citibank and DBS Bank, who is now UBS’ Singapore country head and CEO of Wealth Management Singapore and APAC Hub; and Bill Foo, ANZ Bank’s former Singapore CEO and now its vice-chairman for South and South-east Asia.