DBS’ two-pronged approach to enhancing partnership with the industry comes amid significant changes in the corporate treasury landscape here.
There has been a growing demand for seasoned corporate treasury professionals in Singapore. This follows the establishment by more companies of their headquarters or regional headquarters here. According to the Economic Development Board, of the 28,000 international companies based in Singapore, around 4,200 MNCs have corporate treasury operations.
Secondly, the 2008 global financial crisis, and the shrinkage of credit in the system at the time, served as a wake-up call to many companies on the importance of having a strong corporate treasury function. Corporate treasurers help to manage a company’s capital and funding needs in the most efficient and optimal way. This includes managing the company’s cashflow and financial risks on a day-to-day basis, while helping to raise capital through a variety of debt and equity instruments to meet longer-term financing needs. During the last financial crisis, as system liquidity dried up and credit costs increased, many Singapore companies realised the importance of having seasoned corporate treasurers manage the firm’s risks and funds so as to minimise their overall costs of capital.
As the largest bank in Singapore and a market leader in the T&M space, DBS works closely with many corporate treasurers. In recognition of the increased demands on corporate treasurers, and the growing complexity and sophistication of this specialist function, DBS has formed a partnership with SMU to expand and deepen the talent pool of such professionals.
DBS’ SGD 220,000 contribution will enable SMU to develop a specialised corporate treasury elective for undergraduate and postgraduate students, a first in Singapore. Through this elective, aspiring corporate treasurers will be able to enhance their professional knowledge and insights through practical learning. Not only will DBS T&M practitioners share their industry knowledge, the bank will also open up its dealing room to SMU students and provide internships to them.
Andrew Ng, Managing Director and Head of T&M at DBS said: “As a bank with a market-leading T&M franchise in Singapore, we want to partner our corporate customers and help them better manage their risks and seize opportunities. As business cycles become shorter, increasingly central to this is a strong corporate treasury function. DBS hopes that our collaboration with SMU will help bridge the corporate treasury talent gap and play a part in strengthening Singapore’s attractiveness as a regional hub for corporate treasury centres.”
Professor Howard Thomas, Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU said: “The Lee Kong Chian School of Business at SMU has built up excellent linkages with the industry both in Singapore and abroad. We are committed to working together with our industry partners, and we see this collaboration with DBS as a way of giving back to the banking sector. As an institute of higher learning, we are always seeking to better ourselves, and in so doing, give our students a rich and rewarding SMU education. The enhancements to the business curriculum with these elective modules will undoubtedly better prepare both our undergraduates and postgraduates for the sector and we are pleased to partner the industry to develop talents for Singapore and beyond.”
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) supports this joint initiative to develop Singapore’s corporate treasury talent pool. Ong Chong Tee, Deputy Managing Director of MAS said: "Competency building is an important facet of manpower development to underpin the growth of our financial sector. The collaboration between DBS and SMU is an excellent example of an industry-academia initiative, where market practitioners and university faculty members can co-design a development programme in corporate treasury functions that combines academic rigor with industry perspectives. I commend DBS for its initiative and for its proactive stance towards talent development, and I hope this will spur other industry-academia partnerships.”
DBS T&M’s move to help develop Singapore’s corporate treasury talent pool was announced in conjunction with 10 years of successful partnerships and achievements in the Asian financial markets. DBS will be celebrating this milestone in a client event on 1 October 2010 with Mr Ong in attendance as guest-of-honour. During the event, staff of DBS T&M will also be doing their bit for the community with a donation of more than SGD 118,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
To better support corporate treasury centres in Singapore, this year, DBS T&M has also enhanced its corporate treasury advisory capabilities in several ways. The Bank has begun to offer structured solutions to companies on balance sheet optimisation to help them lower their funding costs and manage liquidity. T&M has also strengthened its advisory capabilities on complex cross-border deals, especially with those involving Asian currencies.
Following the establishment of a dedicated project finance team to support companies undertaking large-scale infrastructural projects within the Institutional Banking Group in April, T&M has similarly committed resources to support companies on managing these project risks so as to provide these firms with end-to-end client support.
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is one of the largest financial services groups in Asia with operations in 15 markets. Headquartered in Singapore, DBS is a well-capitalised bank with "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings that are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.
As a bank that specialises in Asia, DBS leverages its deep understanding of the region, local culture and insights to serve and build lasting relationships with its clients. DBS provides the full range of services in corporate, SME, consumer and wholesale banking activities across Asia and the Middle East. The bank is committed to expanding its pan-Asia franchise by leveraging its growing presence in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to intermediate the increasing trade and investment flows between these markets. Likewise, DBS is focused on extending its end-to-end services to facilitate capital within fast-growing countries such as Indonesia and India.
DBS acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in each of its 14,000 staff, representing over 30 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.
About the Singapore Management University
Incorporated on 12 January 2000, Singapore Management University (SMU) aims to generate leading edge research with global impact as well as to produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. The University is known to be a pioneer for its interactive pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes which remains its unique hallmark. Today, SMU is home to more than 7,000 students and comprises six schools: School of Accountancy, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, School of Economics, School of Information Systems, School of Law and School of Social Sciences.
SMU offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degree programmes in business and management-related areas, ranging from Accountancy, Economics, Finance, Wealth Management, Law, Information Systems and Social Science. It also has a dedicated Office of Research, many research institutes and centres, and provides public and customised programmes for working professionals through Executive Education. Collaborations with leading institutions, including The Wharton School, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, allow SMU to draw on academic and research strengths across all major disciplines. The SMU campus is a state-of-the art facility located right in the heart of Singapore's civic and business district. www.smu.edu.sg