Shek Khi Huin works towards Singapore’s financial future as an Associate at Private Equity, Direct Investments Group (SEA). He is a GIC Scholar and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management degree from the University of Oxford.
GIC manages Singapore’s foreign reserves and they work towards securing the country’s financial future. A large part of their strategy entails investing across a range of asset classes in the public and private markets. Naturally, the organisation has a global outlook and this was what attracted Shek Khi Huin to GIC.
“A career in investments stood out to me because I would be required to understand how different businesses work in an in-depth manner on a daily basis, something I already enjoyed in my own time since my secondary school days,” explains the 26-year-old. “GIC being a leading global investor, with a strong track record of nurturing young investment professionals was then naturally a straightforward choice for me when deciding where to start my career investing.”
And with that, Shek took on a GIC Scholarship and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management at the University of Oxford. Apart from a wellregarded degree, Shek’s all-round experience in the United Kingdom primed him for his career at GIC. For one, he said that the Oxford pedagogy taught him to process large amounts of information and develop, as well as substantiate his views in written and verbal form - undoubtedly a useful and practical skill to have while working at GIC.
He adds: “Working with my peer group, consisting some of the best and brightest from all over the world, gave me a good flavour of how it felt working within a high-performance environment, not unlike that of GIC’s. As the Oxford University Water Polo Club President, I also developed my leadership skills managing an organisation of over 70 people.”
Apart from an overseas education, the GIC Scholarship offers internship opportunities in GIC, as well as being part of the GIC Professionals Programme (GPP) where prospective scholars get to know the inner workings of the organisation through an intensive bootcamp and rotation programme.
Shek is currently an Associate at Private Equity, Direct Investments Group (SEA). Within the past year in the department, Shek managed to close three investments successfully, a feat he ranks as his most significant achievement so far.
“A typical private equity investment takes months or even years to consummate. Completing the full process thrice, including pitching successfully to our investment committee comprising GIC’s most senior and experienced PE investors, certainly feels like a huge accomplishment!” he exclaims. If anything, this illustrates his commitment to getting his tasks done efficiently and expeditiously.
More importantly, Shek’s pivotal involvement in the organisation exhibits GIC’s culture of nurturing young talent.
“Juniors are encouraged to speak up and thrust into taking higher responsibilities whenever possible. I have experienced this first-hand, having represented GIC as a board observer on our portfolio companies, played a significant role in investment decisions and prepared organisation-wide briefings or presentations for GIC’s C-suite.”
“My experience thus far gives me strong confidence that the organisation has my back and will continue to be supportive of my ambitions.”
Investing into his future
Shek is grateful for the opportunities offered by the GIC Scholarship. In particular, the education in Oxford and the rotations across different functions within GIC, including a stint with his private equity counterparts in Mumbai.
He says: “A scholarship is one of the biggest decisions one can make at eighteen years old or in life for that matter. I’ve always believed that if you do what you love you’ll never have to work a day, so it is critical to be as well-informed about your future role as possible. Thus my advice to aspiring scholars would be to thoroughly understand what a career in GIC entails; find out more about what we do through our outreach events or web research, speak to people in the industry both inside and outside GIC and so on. If one is then convinced that a career at GIC could be a good fit, I wholeheartedly encourage him or her to apply and hope that we will have the good fortune to work alongside each other in the future.
“For me, it is the opportunity to do something I love daily in my full-time role as a PE investor in the exciting Southeast Asia region.”
Shek emphasises the fact that he is looking to build out the complete set of technical and soft skills required of a PE investment professional in the next few years.
“As I become more proficient, apart from using this skillset to contribute more to my team, I also hope to give back to the community by advising and seeding fledgling Southeast Asian companies.”
Indeed, like GIC, Shek’s global outlook has influenced him in more ways than one.