As one of the world's largest investment management organisations, GIC manages well over US$100 billion in a diverse range of asset classes– from equities to fixed income, to real estate to private equity – in more than 40 countries worldwide. The returns from these investments contribute to Singapore's financial future in key areas such as education, healthcare, and research and development.
Our single-minded purpose to preserve and enhance Singapore's international purchasing power is shared by over 1,300 talented professionals. Two such individuals, Jessica Chan and Ang Sheng Wei, spend some time with us to give insight into the inner workings of GIC. Both recipients of the GIC Scholarship, they tell us all about how the company has helped cultivate their professional lives.
Why did you apply for the GIC Scholarship?
Jessica Chan: A pivotal factor in my decision-making process was the ability to envision myself in the organisation for the first six years of my working life. I spoke to enough people and realised that at its core, GIC is a fund manager that seeks to generate good returns by investing the nation's foreign reserves. I had done an internship prior to applying for the scholarship that affirmed my interest in investing and financial markets, and underscored my decision to apply for the GIC Scholarship.
Ang Sheng Wei: I remember back in Junior College most of us had very little knowledge of the intricacies of the working world. I narrowed my decision based on very simple filters. Firstly, I knew that I probably would not like policy work. Secondly, I enjoyed Economics and planned to further that interest at university. Finally, I had hoped to contribute to the country in some tangible way. Those filters very quickly put the GIC Scholarship as my first choice. Subsequent chats with management during the interview rounds cemented my decision.
Jessica Chan Wen Ting
Associate, GIC Professionals Programme
What are your roles and responsibilities at work today?
Jessica: I am currently rotating through GIC's Public Equities division as part of the GIC Professionals Programme (GPP). Subsequently, I will be rotating through the Treasury and Portfolio Management Group, as well as the Private Equity and Infrastructure investment group. As a public equities analyst, my key role is to produce investment research to support single stock selection for a team portfolio. The research process is driven by an examination of a company's fundamentals, the industry and market in which it operates, and relevant macro factors. The research process often involves speaking with a company's management and industry consultants to gather various perspectives, in order to form the most informed investment decision.
Sheng Wei: I currently sit within the Real Estate division covering the Australia and New Zealand regions. My role comprises both investments and asset management. In investments, I am expected to have in-depth knowledge of my sector and market coverage and be able to identify investment opportunities that make financial sense. This involves market studies and running financial models as part of a "deal team". In asset management, I help to drive valuation creation in our existing portfolio through actively managing leasing and implementing strategic initiatives.
Ang Sheng Wei
Associate, Real Estate
How has GIC boosted your personal and professional development?
Jessica: GIC is my first place of employment and naturally has had an immense impact on my development. Despite joining full-time just three months ago, I have already benefitted through various opportunities presented by the scholarship programme. These opportunities include discursive sessions with senior management and multiple rounds of training programmes targeted at improving our technical and personal skills.
In addition, GIC organises a range of classes based on the interests of our staff and these could be as diverse as coding to design to language classes, thus instilling holistic development.
Sheng Wei: A key difference I have experienced personally at GIC is the company's conviction in its junior staff. As a junior, I have been awarded opportunities to interact with CEOs of companies and funds, and sourced for views during investment decisions.
Management also takes the view of grooming juniors for the long-term and therefore significant resources are provided for training courses. I have personally gone for classes ranging from Excel modelling to learning to manage your boss!
Tell us what you look forward to in your career with GIC.
Jessica: As I am still in the GPP programme, I look forward to rotating through three different functions within GIC. I have only been exposed to the public equities team, and would like to supplement my public equities knowledge with a deeper understanding of the firm's treasury and portfolio management and private equity activities.
Sheng Wei: The opportunity to learn and not remain stagnant. Management puts a strong focus on professional development, and this is evident in the ability to get exposure to different real estate markets and sectors, something that I believe is not that common in the finance industry.