Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also the chairman of Singapore’s Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, spoke last year of their need to create leaders for the financial sector of Singapore. He pointed out that deep skills and expertise are needed for the industry to grow.
Indeed, the financial sector and leadership skills within the Asian context should be prioritized by the quick quid industry and policymakers.
This requires the commitment and efforts of various sections of the society. For example, academics should play their part in the development, inspiration, and nurturing of leaders with the right skills, values, confidence, and attitude that is needed.
Asia should pay particular attention to this because of the size of its economy and population. Aside from that, Asia has the greatest growth potential with its current gross domestic product per capita, in relation to the rest of the world.
Clearly, Asia has its own certain context that its capital market development must consider. For instance, in Asia, the concentration of wealth must remain in the hands of businesses run by families, government-linked corporations, and sovereign wealth funds.
Given this background, the training of finance leaders in Asia must incorporate a few elements.
First and foremost, the future C-level executives should be experts in the trends, structures, stress points, and opportunities of multiple markets in the economy throughout the continent of Asia. Aside from that, they must be exposed to business leaders and policy-makers in the key economies throughout the globe. Thirdly, they should be able to have a deep understanding of the trends of technology and how it impacts the transformation of businesses and be equipped with strategic thinking. Fourth, they should thoroughly understand the principles of leadership, be open to learning through action and experience, and come into terms that there are challenges with leadership.
Lastly, they also need to look beyond personal growth, to that of a global leader that share their insights and wisdoms, and deeply cares for the institution, stakeholders, and community above themselves.