Overview of AFLP

TMS Academy, the integrated leadership development arm of Temasek Management Services (TMS) and Singapore Management University (SMU) were jointly awarded the mandate by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to develop the Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP). The AFLP was launched in June 2015 at the Association of Banks in Singapore's annual dinner, where guest of honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugarathnam officially announced the inauguration of the AFLP. The AFLP is regarded as the flagship programme for developing senior-level talent in Asia's financial sector including banking, insurance, investments and private equity, to assume regional and global leadership positions and handle the growing complexity of Asia's financial institutions.

The AFLP leverages the strong design and execution expertise of TMS and SMU, and that of an external network of top-tier global partners who take participants through an impactful learning journey to both developed and emerging markets. Besides Singapore, participants attend sessions at world renowned institutions in Europe, the United States, China and South East Asia, where they have the opportunity to interact with world-class faculty, global thought leaders, eminent practitioners and regulators. Upon completion of the programme, participants will receive certificates from these institutions.

The programme provides critical insights for senior-level executives in the financial sector to lead and grow their financial institutions. It also incorporates global and regional perspectives aimed to strengthen participants' abilities to understand the complexities of both regional and global economic landscapes. Some of the themes covered include:

  • Global Trends, Leadership, Ethics & Culture, Strategic Thinking & Execution
  • Growth, Governance, Customer Centricity, Risk & Wealth Management
  • Innovation & Disruption, US Regulatory Environment, Future of Financial Services
  • Operating and Regulatory Environment in Southeast Asia and China
  • Technology and Service Excellence

Another distinct feature is the strong focus on the high-growth Asian financial markets of China and ASEAN. The AFLP will adopt an integrated pedagogy including an immersion component featuring site visits as well as discussions with regulators, leading financiers, think-tanks and thought leaders in both emerging and developed markets. It will provide an invaluable opportunity for participants to network with peers from across geographies and industries within the financial sector.

Mr Tharman Shanmugarathnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, said, "This programme will take advantage of Singapore's strong and expanding linkages in the region, including ASEAN, China and India, and aim to strengthen those links through leadership development. The AFLP is aimed at equipping finance professionals aspiring to C-Suite roles with the knowledge and capabilities to operate effectively across diverse business, regulatory, and legal environments. Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from and interact with top policy-makers from the region and to also build networks with fellow financial sector leaders."

Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said, "We want to create a pipeline of Asian finance leaders who understand Asia and can lead Asian financial institutions. The AFLP will equip finance professionals aspiring to take on C-suite roles in Asian financial institutions with the knowledge to navigate the diverse business, regulatory, and legal environment in the region. Combining academic rigour with industry insights, the programme will cover key issues in finance from a global as well as Asian perspective. We look forward to the launch of the AFLP."

Dr Tan Chin Nam, Chairman of TMS, said, "We are honoured to have been awarded this mandate by MAS jointly with SMU, and to have the opportunity to create a meaningful impact on the future of the Asian financial sector. The AFLP aligns perfectly with TMS Academy's mission of developing Asian business leaders."

Professor Arnoud De Meyer, President of SMU, said, "Given our growing trade and financial networks within ASEAN, and with China and India, Singapore is in a unique position to develop deep pools of knowledge of these regions. SMU is honoured to participate in this endeavour led by MAS to groom senior executives of financial institutions. Leveraging our University's academic knowledge and expertise in Asian insights, this programme will enhance the participants' ability to implement effective strategies in Asia. We are also proud to partner with TMS on this project."

TMS and SMU have had an excellent track record in working together on the highly successful Master of Science in Wealth Management, which is ranked second globally by Financial Times (FT) in its Masters in Finance Post-experience Ranking 2013.

AFLP Press Release

Deputy Prime Minister's reference to AFLP at ABS event

Registration for the second run has closed. We are now taking registration for the third run. Dates for the modules will be announced shortly.

    Programme for the AFLP run one is as follows:
  • Module 1: 14 – 17 November 2016, Singapore
  • Module 2a: 21 – 24 March 2017, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Module 2b: 27 – 29 March 2017, Stanford University, California, USA
  • Module 3a: 17 – 19 May 2017, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Module 3b: 22 – 24 May 2017, Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, Beijing, China
  • Module 4: 28 – 31 August 2017, Singapore
  • Certificates from TMS-SMU, IMD and Stanford on completion
  • Fee: S$46,000 (before GST) per participant
  • Fee for Singapore citizens, who are employees of Financial Institutions and are sponsored by their organisations, is only S$4,600 (before GST) per participant after a 90% subsidy from The Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF)
Targeted at senior-level Asian financial leaders: C minus 1 or C minus 2 executives who are on the path to leading financial institutions in a variety of sectors including banking, insurance, investments, policy, regulatory and private equity.

AFLP Faculty Leads

Neo Boon Siong
Module 1 Academic Lead

Neo Boon Siong is the Canon Professor of Business, Dean of the Nanyang Business School and Director of the Asia Business Case Centre at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Boon Siong is a leading expert in public sector governance, business strategy, process management and organisational change. He has advised many major corporations, facilitated strategy workshops, and led management development programs for government leaders and global enterprises. He has conducted well-received executive programmes, facilitated strategic planning workshops, and advised senior managers of many organisations, including Citibank, UBS, AXA, MayBank, China Construction Bank, Temasek Holdings, DBS Bank, UOB, OCBC Bank, Hanjin Group (Korea), Great Eastern Life Insurance, Economic Development Board, Trade Development Board, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He has served on the Boards and councils of many distinguished institutions including Public Accountants Board, Securities Industry Council, ICPAS, EDB's Enterprise Development Council, and Singapore College of Insurance.

Arturo Bris
Module 2a Academic Lead

Arturo Bris is the Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, Professor of Finance at IMD. He is an expert in corporate governance, financial regulation and banking strategy. He led IMD's Advanced Strategic Management open enrollment program from 2009-2014. Prior to joining IMD, he was a professor at the Yale School of Management where he twice received the best teaching award. He holds a PhD from INSEAD.

Arturo's consulting activities focus on the international aspects of financial regulation, and in particular on the effects of bankruptcy, short sales, insider trading and merger laws. As Director of the World Competitiveness Center, Arturo directs the publication of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook and is currently strengthening and developing other research and benchmarking services for the center. The top journals in finance—Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Business—have published his work.

Salvatore Cantale
Module 2a Academic Lead

Salvatore Cantale is Professor of Finance at IMD. His major research and consulting interests are in value creation, valuation, and the way in which corporations structure liabilities and choose financing options. Additionally, he is interested in the relation between finance and leadership, and in the leadership role of the finance function.

He has published in international double-refereed journals. One of his research papers, "Bank Capital Requirements and Managerial Self-Interests," was nominated for an Outstanding Paper Award at the Southern Finance Association.

Before joining IMD, Salvatore was an analyst with a large investment bank in London, Faculty Director of the Master in Finance and Master in Risk Management at Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business, a member of the Yale International Institute for Finance, and a Research Fellow at New York University. He currently serves as advisor on the Board of the Goldring Institute of International Business at Tulane University. Salvatore holds a BA in Economics and Finance from Universita' di Catania, Italy, and a Master's Degree in Management and a PhD in Finance from INSEAD.

Evan Epstein
Module 2b Academic Lead

Evan Epstein is the Executive Director of the Rock Center for Coporate Governance, a joint initiative between Stanford Law School and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is also the Co-Founder of the Stanford Directors' College for Venture-Backed Company Directors (VCDC), the Stanford CYBER DAY: Cybersecurity for Directors and C-Level Executives program; and is the Co-Chair of the Rock Center International Advisory Council. In addition to being the senior academic staff member at the Rock Center, he lectures on corporate governance, venture capital and deals in Latin America. He is a frequent speaker and consultant on corporate governance topics, and has written expert opinion reports for litigation cases primarily in Latin America. He spent the early part of his career as a corporate attorney in Chile and is licensed to practice law both in California and Chile.

John Sequeira
Module 4 Academic Lead

John Sequeira was appointed as the Academic Director of Asian Financial Leaders Programme (AFLP) in November 2016.  He is a seasoned academic who joined SMU in 2016 after spending several years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Watson Wyatt Worldwide, and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation.

Prior to joining the private sector, John spent several years as a finance academic at the University of New South Wales (Asia), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the University of Melbourne.  His last appointment was with MAS where he headed the Modelling Division.  John has a PhD in financial econometrics from the University of Western Australia and a Masters in Economics from NUS.  His research interests include portfolio strategies, corporate finance, and financial econometrics, and he has published widely in leading international journals that include the Journal of Banking and Finance, and the Journal of Corporate Finance, amongst others. Over the years, John has consulted, and trained executives in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. He was also previously Director of the General Management Programme at NUS, and board member of the MAS-NUS Term Professorship Committee and Centre for Financial Econometrics at SMU.