100%

Share

GIC Annual Report 2020/21 People

Share

2020/21

7.

People

At GIC, people are our biggest investment. Preparing and equipping them to fulfil GIC’s purpose – to secure Singapore’s financial future – while enabling them to thrive, is vital to our success. Our focus is anchored on GIC’s mandate and what we call the PRIME values, as well as an unwavering concern for our people’s well-being.

7.1

7.1 Our Purpose and Values

As Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC’s mandate is to preserve and enhance the international purchasing power of the reserves under our management over the long term. As we pursue our mission, we remain committed to our vision to become the leading global long-term investor.

We are anchored on our PRIME values, which serve as our organizational compass for how we make decisions, how we think, and how we act:

  • Prudence – Use sound judgment to take appropriate and informed risks.
  • Respect – Treat everyone with dignity and value the perspectives and work of others.
  • Integrity – Be honest, ethical and trustworthy. Do what’s right.
  • Merit – Reward both achievements and behaviours equitably.
  • Excellence – Be ambitious and agile, while remaining anchored in GIC’s purpose. Be the best version of ourselves.

7.2

7.2 We Are OneGIC

We have over 1,800 employees across 45 nationalities, operating from our Singapore headquarters and nine offices in key financial centres of the world – Beijing, London, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo. We are planning to set up an office in Sydney to better support the growth and management of GIC’s overall portfolio.

GICians, our employees, come from a range of diverse backgrounds, work experiences, and academic disciplines. This diversity enables GIC to leverage global market insights, networks, and functional expertise to invest well for Singapore.

Organizational Resilience During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the importance of having organizational resilience. Through these challenging times, GIC has taken several steps to enhance it.

Focusing on employee well-being

At the height of the COVID-19 crisis, we were proactive in providing regular updates to employees on office safety measures and travel advisories. We continue to do so to reassure and educate our people about efforts to keep them safe.

We continually seek ground feedback through workplace pulse surveys and employee polls to identify issues early and finetune measures accordingly.

During the period of lockdown and restricted mobility, we recognised that people were working longer hours at home, while simultaneously dealing with the stresses and anxieties of caring for families. To help support employees’ mental and emotional well-being, we implemented initiatives such as:

Year-End Leave Incentive

Additional year-end leave that recognises employees’ commitment and hard work, while encouraging them to take the time to recharge.

Resilience for Performance

A curriculum to help employees understand the art and science of building resilience so that they can remain purpose-driven and sustain energy physically, mentally, and emotionally, for performance and well-being.

7.3

7.3 Equipping and Nurturing Our People

In developing our people, we emphasise continuous learning and a growth mindset. Our collegial work environment provides on-the-job learning opportunities to help employees develop skillsets and grow their careers. This is complemented by GIC School, our dedicated learning and development academy, where we empower employees with learning resources and exposure opportunities.

GIC School curates individual and team development programmes to expand the capacity of our people for sustained high performance and to thrive in the new normal, extending their range of functional competencies through continuous learning.

To support employees’ long-term career aspirations, we launched a career portal which serves as a one-stop platform with resources that help our people discover and pursue their career journey within GIC. From internal transfers to attachments, our employees can tap on opportunities within GIC to broaden their perspectives and skillsets.

To help jobseekers in Singapore build up valuable industry-relevant experience as a step towards permanent jobs during a soft labour market, GIC participated as a host organization in the SGUnited Traineeship Programme and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme, offering job attachments to graduates and mid-career jobseekers. Based on business needs, our department leaders and team managers crafted traineeship roles and development plans for each role. To date, we have created 140 openings and filled more than 50 positions across our investment and corporate services departments.

7.4

7.3 Our Compensation Principles

GIC’s compensation policies and practices are governed by the Human Resource and Organization Committee, a committee of the GIC Board of Directors. Our framework is based on principles that enable us to attract and retain talent to meet our business needs in the markets and sectors we operate in. These principles include long-term orientation, performance accountability, and industry pay benchmarks. The compensation structure is tied to long-term portfolio performance and reinforces an informed risk-taking culture, along with the PRIME values. A portion of the remuneration for senior management staff is deferred and subject to clawback.

7.5

7.4 Key Organizational Movements

Strong leadership is key to our continued success, and we engage in succession planning for renewal at the top levels of management to ensure that we benefit from a steady leadership pipeline and fresh insights.

We welcomed new Managing Directors this year: Mr Amit Kunal, Mr Ankur Meattle, Mr Henry Ormond, Mr Jeremy Kranz, Mr Jesse Hom, Mr Kwong Hong Huat, Mr Shang Thong Chie, Dr Tammam Mouakhar, Mr Taran Khera, Mr Wesley R. Bonewell, and Ms Yap Siao Teng.

We bade farewell to three Managing Directors: Ms Madeleine Cosgrave, Mr Tham Chiew Kit, and Mr Sam Liew. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Ms Cosgrave, Mr Tham, and Mr Liew for their significant contributions to GIC.

An inclusive workplace

While we recruit and reward our people on merit to build a diverse talent pool globally, our inclusive culture promotes respect and active contribution to ensure our people collaborate effectively for results and thrive in overcoming challenges as a team.

Our long-term success has been made possible by a working environment where everyone is enabled to contribute at their highest level and can bring their best selves to work, to invest well for Singapore. We embrace and harness the diversity of experiences and perspectives in our teams for better performance, creativity, and innovation.

We remain committed to providing our employees a safe, dignified, and non-intimidating workplace where people are treated with respect and feel psychologically safe to bring their whole selves to GIC. Our Dignity at Work policy sets clear expectations and provides guidance on conduct towards employees and external parties in the workplace and work-related settings beyond the office. Employees have been guided on when and how to speak up, in the event they encounter inappropriate behaviours or harassment at work. Under our Whistleblowing Policy, employees can also raise and report incidents to the CEO and/or the Chairman of the Audit Committee.

GIC adopts inclusive hiring policies to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities. We have a Differently Abled programme where we proactively offer internships to students with disabilities so that they can be prepared for the workplace through the experience.

Recognising the different roles that our employees juggle – partner, parent, or caregiver, among others – and to support them and their families better, we have enhanced our benefits in multiple areas, including increasing leave days for maternity, paternity, marriage, and caregiving. Exclusion clauses to pre-existing conditions and the age cap for children with disabilities have been removed in the dependents’ medical coverage scheme. Mental health treatment costs are also covered under our medical coverage benefits.

Over the last year, we have actively implemented concrete actions in our journey towards these goals:

7.6

7.5 Building Confident Communities to Create Greater Impact

Supporting local communities impacted by the pandemic

GIC stepped up social impact efforts during the pandemic as local communities were hard-hit. In addition to our existing social impact programmes, our Group Executive Committee took a pay reduction for the amount to go towards relief and response efforts for students at Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore. Similarly, our Board private sector directors donated a portion of their fees to the relief efforts. GIC also launched dollar-for-dollar matching programmes for employees to fund COVID-19 donation drives.

In recognition of our employees’ desire to contribute to the disadvantaged and underserved communities in their locations, we started With Love, GIC – a S$1.05 million initiative that supports ground-up projects. Led by employees across 10 offices who can determine how they wish to contribute based on their skills, passion, and interests, With Love, GIC has generated close to 100 projects. These projects were co-created directly with community partners, so employees got a first-hand look at charities’ operations and the communities they served. Projects that have been implemented include: distributing food packs for the needy; enabling home-based learning for students in high-needs households; funding mobile connectivity for vulnerable members of the community; and building confidence in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each project is targeted at helping ground-up community partners scale their impact. Funds provided have been used to upgrade community kitchens with industrial-grade appliances or to purchase high-quality technical equipment to enable community partners to effectively conduct outreach activities, among other examples.

GIC’s community programmes are designed to deliver long-term impact. In 2020, GIC was named a Champion of Good, a national recognition conferred by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) under the Company of Good programme. The programme recognises organizations that are exemplary in doing good and committed to multiplying corporate giving efforts by engaging their partners and stakeholders on a collaborative journey.

At the corporate level, we champion education to help build capacity within individuals to become confident leaders who actively contribute to the community. Through education, we believe we can spark a multiplier effect on various facets of our community, including economic security, collective well-being, and environmental sustainability, which in turn creates long-term impact. GIC employees are encouraged to put PRIME values into action by volunteering their time and skills, and this effort also supports professional and personal development.

As we commemorate our 40th anniversary this year, we have launched Gift A Tree – an enterprise-led initiative where each employee will plant a tree to tangibly demonstrate support for GIC’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Employees are actively involved in the tree-planting process and are instilled with the mindset to care for the environment and its biodiversity as long-term assets that benefit our future generations.

GICians from our Shanghai office planting trees at the Shanghai Huakai Haishang Ecological Park

We have established strong relationships with various educational institutions and community partners in Singapore and have co-developed impactful programmes that inculcate life-long mindsets and behaviours in different communities, from secondary schools and students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), polytechnics, and tertiary institutions; to individuals with special needs and various disabilities; as well as youths and SME (small-to-medium enterprise) executives in Singapore.

GIC Sparks & Smiles (“GIC Sparks”)

Now in its sixth year, GIC Sparks & Smiles is our flagship leadership programme that empowers Singaporean youths from high-needs households to be changemakers who pay it forward in their own communities. GIC Sparks awardees receive a grant to support their studies, are trained by experienced social service practitioners, engage with GIC senior leaders, and volunteer in the community. Since its launch in 2015, more than 700 students have collectively volunteered approximately 17,600 hours to mentor disadvantaged children and youth. These activities have developed the skills, confidence, and leadership of our GIC Sparks awardees, while also supporting our community partners in their outreach and bringing benefits to the wider community.

GIC X Change

The GIC X Change is a mentorship and volunteering programme where like-minded GIC mentors and youth mentees come together to develop community service projects that are asset-based and build on the strengths of the community. In the process, ideas are also exchanged, mentor-mentee bonds are forged, and participants gain experiences and skills that serve them in their professional and personal capacities. The programme pilot saw 12 GIC mentors and 23 youth mentees join hands with community partners to co-create projects that engage young children from families struggling with personal and family-related issues, and at-risk youths aged 7-13 who have at least one parent incarcerated, among others.

The Purple Symphony: Training Award Programme

GIC is a close partner of The Purple Symphony, Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra which is made up of musicians with and without special needs. Through the Training Award Programme funded by GIC, the grant allows persons with special needs and disadvantaged individuals to enjoy equal access to music lessons and performing opportunities. By learning and performing, recipients of the award can hone their musicianship skills and grow in confidence. GIC’s support, through the award and employee volunteering efforts, has enabled the orchestra to pursue more performances at the national level. Since GIC’s partnership with The Purple Symphony began in 2016, we have supported more than 90 recipients who in turn, have contributed to creating an avenue for musicians to learn and share music with one another, celebrating and demonstrating abilities, spreading the message of inclusion, and inspiring others.

GIC Computing for the Community Fellowship Award

GIC supports the NUS Computing for Voluntary Welfare Organizations (CVWO) programme where undergraduate students apply their computing skills to build capacity for VWOs. The award helps CVWO advance its mission to equip students from the NUS School of Computing with the requisite soft skills and ethos of service to become effective leaders in Singapore. Since our partnership began in 2017, IT systems of at least eight VWOs have been enhanced, allowing these VWOs to serve their communities more effectively. In 2020, a project team under CVWO was recognised as ‘Tech Heroes in Crisis’ for co-developing a national contact tracing system with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to support the Ministry of Health in combatting COVID-19 in Singapore.

Financial literacy programmes

To increase financial literacy among youths in Singapore, we collaborate with schools and organizations through our community outreach programmes such as Safehouse.

Safehouse is an experiential game of trade-offs, where players gain first-hand experience of key investing principles such as risk diversification and value-versus-price, drawn from GIC’s experience of safeguarding Singapore’s reserves. More than 400 students in secondary schools, junior colleges, and ITE have gone through this programme.

Co-created by GIC and The Thought Collective (TTC), our Investing Principles Curriculum comprises five core modules based on GIC’s principles of long-term strategic thinking, infused with TTC's focus on developing social-emotional and leadership competencies. GIC employees participate as panellists to share real-world application of the principles. The curriculum was first launched as a pilot with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the National Youth Council (NYC), which reached more than 1,700 youths and 800 SMEs. This year, we operationalised the curriculum in partnership with SBF to offer a fully funded online learning programme for SME leaders and SME professionals who want to prepare themselves and their organizations to take on long-haul challenges. Similarly, we are partnering with NYC to contribute content from the curriculum to Youthopia.SG, an online portal offering news, social causes, and learning resources for youths.

GIC-MOE Partnership

To prepare Singaporean students to thrive in an increasingly complex, ambiguous, and rapidly changing future, GIC School collaborates with the Ministry of Education, Singapore (“MOE”) on initiatives for the national school curriculum to help develop future-ready young Singaporeans.

Leveraging our core expertise as a global investor, the MOE-GIC partnership produces educational resources and programmes with real-world applications across topics such as financial literacy education, covering core concepts in: personal finance and national reserves management; the global economy and long-term trends; and the future of work and careers in investment management. This supports the national effort to develop a Singaporean core in our financial services industry. The programmes are delivered through student seminars, workshops, and teaching packages. Digital resources are also available on the MOE Student Learning Space and FutureReady-GIC Microsite, which enables students and educators to access them easily for home-based learning.

Chart of employee demographics

Where our employees come from

13% 58% 3 1 2 4 20% 9%

1

Singapore

2

Asia, Australia, and Africa

3

Americas

4

Europe

Years in GIC

20% 20% 13% 13% 13% 13% 3 1 2 4 54% 54%

1

≤ 5 years

2

5 to <10 years

3

10 to <15 years

4

≥ 15 years

Explore sections

  1. 1

    Public sector directors do not receive a fee for serving on the GIC Board.

  2. 2

    The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that advocates giving in Singapore.

  3. 3

    Visitors can access the resources upon creating an account.