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Risk and Asset Management Research - May 25, 2010

We believe that the next phase of growth will be driven by knowledge and innovation - an interview with Ng Nam Sin

In this month's interview, Mr Ng Nam Sin, assistant managing director of the development group at the Monetary Authority of Singapore puts the official support extended to EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia in the context of the region’s needs and the development of Singapore's financial sector.

Ng Nam Sin

MAS, together with industry, is supportive of EDHEC-Risk Institute’s move to set up a platform in Asia to generate and disseminate academic insights into investment management issues of particular relevance for investors and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Why is that so?

Ng Nam Sin: Given the shifting economic weight to Asia, there is now a greater need to build capabilities for Asian-focused research. It is important for investors to understand the risks inherent in investments before they can make an informed decision on their investments. For Asia, a region which is fast growing but still developing, there is a lot more scope to better understand these risks. Understanding Asian markets is also relatively more challenging as markets in Asia are currently in different stages of development and of different natures. Research is hence fundamental to providing a greater understanding of the risk factors and investment strategies, in Asian markets.

What role do you see EDHEC Risk Institute–Asia playing in Singapore’s financial services sector?

Ng Nam Sin: We are very pleased that EDHEC-Risk Institute has chosen to set up its Asia Centre in Singapore. A key differentiating factor in Singapore is our strong emphasis on research and development. We believe that the next phase of growth will be driven by knowledge and innovation. The development of intellectual capital will therefore be critical to maintain the long-term sustainability of our economy.

In the financial services sector, MAS encourages research institutes to support the industry in competency building, risk management, product innovation and investor education. In this regard, we see EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia contributing in a few key aspects of the financial sector in Singapore and the region.

Firstly, it can act as an important platform in bridging research and applications, thereby facilitating innovation in risk management techniques.

Secondly, as a crucible for research and leading edge knowledge in risk management, the Institute can play an important role in building up competency among professionals. This could be done through work-shops, executive courses, or the EDHEC-Risk Institute PhD in Finance programme. Asia's financial services industry is likely to grow rapidly. This must be supported by building up the capabilities of financial industry professionals.

Thirdly, EDHEC Risk Institute–Asia could use Singapore as a focal point to bring in global thought leaders and practitioners on risk management through its events and conference.

We currently have a vibrant eco-system of universities and research centres of excellence that conducts industry-relevant research and provides training to the investment community. EDHEC Risk Institute–Asia will join a cluster of research institutions that include the National University of Singapore-Risk Management Institute, Singapore Management University-BNP Paribas Hedge Fund Centre and Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics. We believe that EDHEC Risk Institute–Asia will be a strong addition to the cluster. At the same time, we believe EDHEC Risk Institute-Asia will also gain from its presence in Singapore, as it will be able to reach out to a wider constituency.

About Ng Nam Sin

Mr. Ng Nam Sin, Assistant Managing Director of the Development Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore, started his civil service career with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) in 1988. The EDB is the lead government agency responsible for industry development in Singapore.

He was posted to the EDB office in New York in 1994. In New York, he was the Regional Director, responsible for promoting manufacturing & services investment opportunities in Singapore.

He moved to the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 1998. He now heads the development group responsible for fostering the growth of Singapore’s financial sector. Ng Nam Sin graduated from the University of Glasgow, UK in 1985, with a degree in engineering. He attended the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University in 2008.