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Morning Coffee: UBS boss says Singaporeans need gift of gab, global experience to get better jobs

Singaporeans need gift of the gab to get better jobs, says UBS boss

UBS Singapore country head Edmund Koh says Singaporeans must prove their worth if they are to clinch senior management positions in the city state ahead of foreigners.

What’s one of the main stumbling blocks to more locals rising up the ranks? “Singaporeans are quite shy and not necessarily the best communicators, so sometimes we fail to impress,” Koh told the Straits Times. “It’s important that Singaporeans learn the art of communication as well.”

Koh also says Singaporean bankers need to get more international experience in order to improve their management capabilities. “I think they should at least spend six to nine years, at some point in their career, in a sporadic manner overseas.” He recommends both stints in “powerhouse” countries such as China and the United States, and emerging markets like Brazil or Myanmar “where you’ll understand the growing stages of development”. “When you go to these countries, you don’t just learn the technical skills or understand the culture,” says Koh. “You also go there to broaden your circle of influence and network.”

Koh supports the government’s efforts to further localise the banking workforce. “Local banks should, if possible, grow their own talent because it is of strategic interest to Singapore.” But when it comes to choosing the right person for the right job right now, he firmly believes that ability comes before nationality. “We [UBS] have come to the state of development in Singapore where we should understand and appreciate meritocracy, so an available position should be open to the most able person.”

Meanwhile:

4,000 new Chinese hedge and private equity funds have launched in the last three months, fuelling a mass exodus from traditional investment houses. (Financial Times)

Standard Chartered could compensate new boss with £6.5m in shares. (Guardian)

HKEx to vote on reforms to check market volatility. (South China Morning Post)

Dubai’s DIFC pivots East to Asian banks. (Bloomberg)

Get ready for more mergers and acquisitions from Japan says ANZ. (Sydney Morning Herald)


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