Webinar Summary: Supporting Digitalisation and Investment Managers Through COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted many businesses’ momentum and it is increasingly important for investment managers to rethink and relook the way they conduct their business.

In this regard, to help our members better cope with the challenges from the pandemic, IMAS has worked with the industry and organised a series of webinars relating to COVID-19 such as i) The Future of Work; ii) Sifting through the COVID-19 noise: Understanding the balance between containing the pandemic and managing the economy; and most recently, iii) Supporting Digitalisation and Investment Managers Through COVID-19. To watch our past webinars on-demand, please click here.

Our most recent panel discussion was moderated by Wijaya Elham, Member of IMAS Executive Committee and Digital Innovation Committee and Chief Operating Officer, UOB Asset Management Ltd. The panellists comprised Damien Pang, Deputy Chief FinTech Officer from Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS); Adrian Ong, Director, TeSA Programme Office, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA); Lydia Wee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, The Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF); and Tan Yan Wei, Head of Employability Skills Development, IBF.

It was a lively discussion where the panellists shared with the IMAS community the various government support packages to drive digital transformation, defray business costs and reskill/upskill our industry professionals.  A key takeaway from all three government agencies was that COVID-19 presented a tremendous opportunity for companies to re-examine their business models and better embrace digitalisation, which has been fast-tracked throughout the nation’s economy due to the pandemic. In addition, asset managers should capitalise on this downtime to send employees for training, in order to equip them with the necessary skills to excel in a digital workplace.

In response to Wijaya’s question on the key digitalisation trends arising from the pandemic, Damien shared about the envisioned new normal, and how the MAS was supporting these changes, including the Digital Acceleration Grant (DAG). The DAG provides financial support for financial institutions and FinTechs to adopt digital solutions into their businesses, for example in the areas of ESG and RegTech. Damien hoped that the members of IMAS, in partnership with IMAS and the solution providers, would proactively pursue such digital opportunities and chart a path forward in the new normal.

Adrian provided an overview of the digitalisation efforts of IMDA as a whole, some of the enterprise schemes available, with a focus on the talent support programmes available under the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative. The TeSA programme aims to build and develop a skilled workforce adept at emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, data analytics and cybersecurity. This will help employees better meet the changing needs of the finance industry.

Lydia shared that IBF had undertaken a new mandate in 2018 to proactively work in the realm of workforce transformation. In that regard, IBF has started many new initiatives to help employees upskill and remain relevant in the changing economy. Yan Wei expanded on this topic, highlighting the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), which provides financial support, such as salary support and course fee subsidies, for financial institutions to send their staff for training, such that they can be redeployed to emerging areas.

During the Q&A session, there were many questions raised by the audience on the digitalisation front, such as common challenges in digitalisation, case studies of successful digitalisation efforts, as well as operational questions on the government grants and schemes. This was heartening, as it indicated a clear interest in digitalisation from the asset management industry.

At IMAS, we are committed to representing the collective interest of investment managers in Singapore to champion digitalisation for the industry and alongside the support from government agencies. Investment managers can collaborate with IMAS, and work together with FinTechs, digital solution providers, and large technology companies to accelerate digital transformation. The Digital Accelerator Programme (DAP) is a platform where leading corporates and institutions can find the right digital solutions for their business needs, and FinTechs can gain opportunities to rapidly commercialise their business ventures.

IMAS is also committed to promoting the reskilling and upskilling of our industry practitioners to help them stay competitive. We recently launched iLearn, a one-stop portal for the industry to access training modules specially curated for the asset management industry. As these modules are IBF-accredited, they can be used to meet MAS Core CPD requirements, and are eligible for the enhanced course subsidies and training allowance grant administered by IBF.

Contact IMAS today at enquiries@imas.org.sg to find out more on our above initiatives.

The recording of the webinar is available here.

Presentation decks are also available here.