GIC Learning Journey

Good day from Singapore!

Another day – another educative and enlightening company visit. This time I was seeing an even more interesting place than the previous ones. Why is it so? Simply because this type of business arrangement was actually first of a kind in the world, and is still not so common in general. The arrangement whereby sovereign wealth is managed by a non-commodity state-owned fund which does not outsource the fund’s function to someone else.

The name for that pioneer in the investment world is Government Investment Corporation. As I said earlier, it pioneered in two ways: first, being the first non-commodity sovereign wealth fund, and secondly, managing the majority of the wealth itself, and not outsourcing the great deal of it to some other financial institutions. Why would you call it a fund otherwise?!

The visit was arranged in a form of a learning journey with three stations:

1) The Introductory lecture at the auditorium familiarizing us with the entire process of what I would call “wealth creation” – from the GIC Board’s/Management’s Mandate outlining asset classes and Investment Process, to Trade Execution, Trade Proceeding and Risk Management. Yes, Risk Management, because you do not put your investment portfolio for long in a drawer once it composed, but have to monitor it and make the necessary amendments.

2) Visit to the trade floor itself, where the trade execution function is performed. The traders were, of course, forewarned, that there will be some curious students coming down to see the floor, so they have protected the sensitive information from the gazers. Therefore, we could not really see anything interesting, but Bloomberg Terminals somehow captivate you no matter what chart there is on the screen.

3) Question and Answer session was a very good supplement to it all, as the journey did stir the interest and raise some questions in our minds. It was very interesting, for example, to learn how GIC protects itself from insider trading, why it still gives some of its funds to external fund managers, and how the investigation goes when there is loss.

Besides knowledge, there was one more and not less generous supplement to the journey. Our group was treated with a delicious dinner and dessert. GIC, by the way, is located in one of the highest Singapore’s skyscrapers. While being there, I managed to capture a few views from the top.

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What a nice view for a coffee pause.

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Tanjong Pagar Terminal. Shall I mention that I operated a similar crane on a simulator? J

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Thanks to GIC and NYP for making this trip a reality!

As for Singapore, not much has changed about the weather, but there are noticeable changes in the city itself, as Chinese New Year is coming and the city gets decorated in traditional ornaments. It is sure to be an interesting and novel festivity for me, so I will definitely make it to China Town and Marina Bay for the main celebrations. Follow the blog to find out more J

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

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