The past year has been what no one would have expected. Covid19 pandemic has brought chaos in every expect of our life & business that we know. The disruption and suffering we have never seen before. We are very fortunate to have a strong government and leadership in Singapore. I strongly believe that we have adapted quickly and have been resilient to the situation. We have learned new acronym like WFH, SHN and truly adapting to the new norms of Virtual or Hybrid environment that is definitely here to stay. If we look around, we have seen many taking opportunities to find green shoot. The key is to remain positive.
What is ultimately important for ACI Singapore and our members is that we must remain relevant and seize new opportunities. Just as the industry is evolving due to this disruption and new normal through digital disruption we too must resolve to evolve. This being the key factor towards remaining resilience.
Throughout 2020, The ACI Singapore EXCO was challenged to carefully explored several key areas which we believe that ACI Singapore may expand meaningfully and contribute.
1. Organising the Virtual ACI Live Aid Charity Fund Raising in May 2020.
2. Organising an Asia Financial Markets Forum for 2021
3. Changes to constitution and name
4. Organising Professional Upskilling courses.
1. In 2020, the Charity Golf & Gala Committee had to switch very quicky during the Circuit Breaker to change and organise our First ACI LIVE AID Virtual Gala Fundraising dinner, which we were privileged to have Mr Ravi Menon. MD of MAS as our guest of Honour and Keynote speaker in a virtual Fire Chat at that same event. We were able to bring together more than 500 people. This was all done during the Circuit Breaker and within 30 days. We also managed to raise a Nett of $ 470,000 for distribution through the ACI Trampoline Fund. But just this week the ACI Live Aid received great news, when we were officially informed that there was an additional government TOP UP grant of $ 150,000. This is 6 months after the event. Is that Not amazing news. The ALA Committee will be in discussion with The Majurity Trust on how best to distribute the money with the best social impact for the needy. Thank You Hoe Lon and the ACI team that put this together.
2. As mentioned last year, we were organising the Asia Financial Market Forum which was originally planned for October 2020 but we had to postpone the physical event due to the COVID-19. As you would already know we are doing a Prelude next week on the 22 Jan. The AFMF Prelude is a half-day session. We fortunate and privilege to have Jacqueline Loh, Deputy MD of MAS as the Keynote Speaker. We have lined many well-known speakers including Cesar Purisima Ex Finance Secretary of the Philippines, Adam Levison and many more. We have also invited many of our Regional ACI colleagues and buy side participants. So do sign up. It is Free and it’s for you.
3. At a Strategic meeting in 2019, the EXCO had already deliberated on how do we bring the Association forward. It was clear that The Financial Markets Eco System is changing. Hence it we saw it important to tweak our constitution to allow the expansion of our members to include Front office support staff to The Financial Market participants. This includes risk managers, middle office support staff and marketing professionals in regulated electronic venues. The changes also include a new Institutional category. This allows member institutions to nominate more members into the association and to let their employees enjoy the benefit of activities organised as if they had joined individually. The amendment is timely given the ever-changing financial market eco system.
In line with these changes and to reflect a stronger focus on the domestic agenda the EXCO had decided change the Association name to Financial Markets Association of Singapore (FMAS).This had to be done by putting the resolution to a Vote, which we have done (note all this is still subjected to ROS approval after submission). The summary and explanation in detail had been sent to every member in the AGM pack for your perusal. We will still be affiliated to ACI FMA the global body.
4. As you know there has been a huge push for upskilling and it is important to do so in order to remain relevant. We need to keep on upskilling ourselves. I encourage you to take advantage of the IBF grants (some up to 95pct) to upgrade yourselves. Do not waste this opportunity to learn new skills. At ACI we had been pushing out courses for this reason. One such course is the Financial Markets Structuring and Advisory Course with IBF FTS funding. This course was very well received last year by many institutions and a Public run will be conducted soon. So please check out our website. Last year also in collaboration with Bloomberg we had conducted a free 3 session Basic Phyton course specially for our members. The ACI team will still be looking into bringing to you more virtual seminars and education courses in the coming year. So, look out and join us.
Mr Bryan Yap would go into this in details but I would like to say that, in FY2020, ACI Singapore’s financial deficit was 52% Lower than FY2019. The substantial drop was mainly due higher education income, receipt of government related subsidies and the effort by the team to streamline and reduce some operation expense. In the coming months the Secretariat we will again be trying to reduce cost by moving office with a cheaper rental. But the real key is revenue from Education courses. So do support us and sign up for our courses.
It is the belief of the ACI Singapore EXCO that our Association plays an important role within the 3 key parties, comprising the Regulators, the Institutions & the industry participants, whose engagement and cooperation are necessary to promote a vibrant industry. I would like to encourage all to support the Association because it is meant for you. We value your participation and feedback.
It leaves me to thank all my fellow members of the ACI Singapore Executive Committee, our Honorary Advisors and the Staff for their support, commitment and dedication.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe