Cover Feature
Their Business is His Business
Away from the glare of the spotlight, a former kampung (village) boy goes about tracking the global markets with dedication. He knows that one move can make the difference between big losses and huge gains for Singapore. There is no glamour in Lim Chow Kiat’s job in the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation but he sees it as his mission to contribute to Singapore’s financial future
Students and alumni
• Jonathan Chan, Chye Nyit Fhen and Heng Xue-Li (champions, L’Oréal Brandstorm International Finals)
• Lim Chow Kiat (see side story)
• Stefanie Sun (pop superstar who has sold millions of albums)

You can be like him if you are the one who... clumsily bumps into others on the street... because your head is buried in a copy of the Financial Times. Your eyes light up when you see the words Greek debt crisis, because where others fear the worst, you smell an opportunity to pick up stocks on the cheap. Your friends face the “difficult” choice of choosing between Manchester United and Barcelona; you scoff because you have a far more critical decision to make: Technicalist or Fundamentalist?

Your perfect match: the Nanyang Business School, with the region’s most established accountancy programme and one of the top business programmes in Asia.

Its students are highly sought-after in the financial world, with many securing jobs with the “Big 4” accounting firms and MNCs by the start of their third year. The school’s undergrads also regularly shine in areas like management and marketing, winning prestigious competitions such as last year’s McGill Management International Case Competition in Montreal and the L’Oréal Brandstorm International Finals in Paris.

Confirming its impressive pedigree, the school's MBA programme ranks among the top 35 in the world, according to the latest Financial Times ranking, where its MBA graduates were also found to have the highest average salary compared to other Singapore MBA graduates. The Nanyang MBA has also been ranked by The Economist as the best in Singapore for the last eight years.

Lim Chow Kiat:

From Kampung Boy to Global Investor

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) only hired one person back in 1993 – a former Malaysian kampung boy fresh out of the Nanyang Business School.

Nearly two decades and several promotions later, in 2011, that someone – Lim Chow Kiat – became the President of GIC Asset Management, handling the company’s public market investments, at the relatively young age of 40. Fresh out of university with a First Class Honours degree in Accountancy, he had turned down higher-paying positions to join GIC as he felt that it offered better learning opportunities.

That decision paid off, with Chow Kiat enjoying a truly global career with the organisation. Besides his work in Singapore, he has had an “entrepreneurial experience” in New York, where he helped form a team to invest in credit assets, and a posting in London, during which he ran the company’s European operations.

The education he received in NTU gave him the tools to succeed. Says Chow Kiat: “One of the strengths of the curriculum was that its scope went beyond our core discipline.”

“Even though accountancy was my major, I did other courses in law, statistics, communication, IT and organisational behaviour, which I have found to be really useful. As I did more management work in the last 10 years, the things I learnt as an undergraduate came in handy.”

“Without some of those foundational courses, I would probably have had to do a Master of Business Administration to try and understand the management issues that I encounter at work.”