The Asian Financial Leaders Programme celebrates the graduation of five cohorts of financial leaders

DPM speech

Five cohorts of 128 business leaders will be celebrating their graduation from the prestigious Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP) on Tuesday, 24 October 2023, at the Island Ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel.  Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Mr Heng Swee Keat, is the Guest-of-Honour. This is the first time the AFLP is holding a graduation dinner since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic.

Since its inception in 2015, the AFLP has prepared 324 C-suite executives for leading financial institutions in Asia. To date, Singapore Management University (SMU)  and Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) (formerly known as TMS Academy) have conducted eight runs of the AFLP, with the ninth intake taking place in November 2023. 

Backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, AFLP was established to grow a pipeline of senior-level talent in Asia’s financial sector (including banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, private equity firms, investment companies, fund management companies, REIT managers and financial regulators) to assume leadership positions and handle the growing complexity of Asia’s financial industry. Jointly developed by HCLI and SMU, the AFLP is regarded as the flagship programme for developing Asian financial leaders.

Leveraging a strong network of top-tier global partners, the AFLP curriculum is designed to bring participants through an impactful global learning journey. AFLP participants engage in dialogue sessions with key financial industry leaders, including Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Deputy Chairman and CEO of UOB; Piyush Gupta, Group CEO of DBS Bank; and Ms Helen Wong, CEO of OCBC Bank.

They also attend overseas modules in China, Indonesia, Switzerland, and the United States of America, at world-renowned institutions, including IMD Business School and Tsinghua University, where they get to interact with global thought leaders, eminent practitioners and regulators. Furthermore, they also visit well-known companies, including Netflix, Tesla, Tokopedia and Xiaomi, to better understand their operations.


The illustrious alumni of the AFLP include the following business leaders:

  • Ms Eva Ang (Head of Corporate Affairs & Brand and Marketing, Standard Chartered Singapore) from Cohort 3;
  • Dr Joshua Kumar (Managing Director, EQT Partners Asia Pte Ltd) from Cohort 3;
  • Ms Lim Lay Wah (MD and Head, Sector Solutions Grp and Global Financial Institutions Group, UOB) from Cohort 3;
  • Mr Thomas Lim (Managing Director & Co-Head, Global Financial Institutions Group, Asia Pacific, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) from Cohort 3;
  • Mr Shee Tse Koon (Group Executive & Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, DBS) from Cohort 1 and
  • Mr Patrick Yap (Chief Information Officer, Maybank) from Cohort 3.


Quotes from Graduands:

TANCY I was attracted to the Asian Financial Leaders Programme’s curriculum and the networking opportunities. There are many programmes available in the market and AFLP stood out as it deals with challenges faced by the Financial Services industry. The programme has equipped me with a deep and broad understanding of the threats in the ecosystem and a platform to debate with my peers and share best practices. Personally, this programme has also supported my transition to my new role, where it has helped me build up and strengthen my network of senior leaders in Asia.” - Ms Tancy Tan, Chief Operating Officer, Singapore, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Cohort 4)
ERIC “I chose to attend the Asian Financial Leader’s Programme as past participants shared that they had benefitted tremendously from the new learnings, broadening of perspectives and deep friendships they forged during the programme. I must say it was all that and more! From the innovation of Silicon Valley to the deep China perspective of Tsinghua University, from the leadership excellence of IMD to the operating insights on ASEAN, I was able to intimately experience the large political and economic forces at play that create for all of us the huge opportunities to leverage as well as risks to manage.” - Mr Eric Lim, Chief Sustainability Officer, UOB (Cohort 5)


Quotes from representatives of Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI) and Singapore Management University (SMU)

"HCLI is honoured to develop the pipeline of our financial leaders in Asia. We have trained over 300 senior leaders across 80 financial institutions to take on challenging new roles in this critical sector.  Most importantly, the cohort has created a strong network committed to continue growing and working together to support the sustainable growth of business in Asia.  We thank MAS for their foresight in developing this programme nearly a decade ago and look forward to supporting the leaders driving our global financial industry." - Ms Doris Sohmen-Pao, the CEO of HCLI

“The challenges facing financial leaders are constantly changing and evolving as the financial landscape responds to the vagaries posed by geopolitical tensions, advances in the technological space, and ramped-up efforts to support the sustainability initiative. In this current environment, the AFLP is well positioned with distinguished experts and top faculty from SMU and our partner universities to equip participants with the knowledge and skills they will need to face these challenges, as well as navigate new and unchartered territory in this dynamic global financial ecosystem.” - Associate Professor John Sequeira, the Academic Director of the AFLP




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