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IPC Wins Two 2019 SBR Technology Excellence Awards

IPC, a leading global provider of secure, compliant communications and networking solutions for the financial markets community, today announces the win of two awards in the 2019 Singapore Business Review Technology Excellence Awards.

Best Connectivity for Financial Services – Connexus Cloud earned IPC the award for “Connectivity for Financial Services”. IPC’s Connexus Cloud is a high-performance financial markets cloud solution for data, voice and enterprise communications and compliance. Connexus Cloud helps firms trade faster, scale with greater ease, and achieve greater agility, productivity and efficiency, resulting in a significant competitive advantage.

Best Infrastructure Technology for Financial Services – IPC’s Unigy platform was named the winner of the “Infrastructure Technology for Financial Services” category. Unigy, IPC’s flagship solution, has been recognised globally for years as the industry’s dominant trading and communications platform. It is a widely adopted, secure, compliant, end-to-end solution purpose-built to address the specific needs of the global regulated financial markets community.

“We are excited by the success and recognition of Connexus Cloud and Unigy in the Asia Pacific market” said Bruce Malsen, Vice President of APAC sales at IPC. “We will continue to deliver our promise of excellent service, thereby enabling companies in the financial sector to mitigate risks, diversify and protect their assets, and seize opportunities to build wealth for their customers.”

To express its appreciation for innovative technological solutions with a wide-ranging influence, Singapore Business Review (SBR) pays tribute to firms that have launched extraordinary products, services, and strategies in the past two years. To be recognised at the 2019 SBR Technology Excellence Awards, nominees have to meet the criteria of uniqueness and innovation, effectiveness and impact, and dynamism, which are essential elements of success in the digital era.

The inaugural awards ceremony was held on May 30, 2019 at the Conrad Centennial Singapore.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Cheang Wai Keat, Head of Advisory of Ernst & Young LLP; Darwin Thio, Director, Cybersecurity & Technology Services of Nexia TS; KPMG Head of Cybersecurity Daryl Pereira; Evelyn Lim, Executive Director, Tax Advisory of BDO LLP, and; Jonathan Kok, Co-Head of Technology, Media & Communications Industry Group of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP.

About IPC

IPC is a technology and service leader powering the global financial markets. We help clients anticipate change and solve problems, setting the standard with industry expertise, exceptional service and comprehensive technology. With a customer-first mentality, IPC brings together one of the largest and most diverse global financial ecosystems spanning all asset classes and market participants. As the enabler of this ecosystem, IPC empowers the community to interact, transact and react to market changes and challenges, and we collaborate with our customers to help make them secure, productive, compliant and connected. Visit IPC.com and follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit https://www.ipc.com/

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Bankers bounce back to beat lawyers in Annual Charity Cricket Match

The bankers won the Duane Morris & Selvam Capital Markets Cup with a resounding win over the lawyers in this year’s charity cricket match held on 19 January 2019 at the Sachivalaya Ground in Oval Maidan, Mumbai. The lawyers were aiming for four wins in a row, but the bankers bounced back to crush the lawyers in this year’s match, scoring 191 for 7 off their 20 overs and bowling the lawyers out for a paltry 85. The bankers have now won three times, but they still trail the lawyers, who have won five times. This year’s match raised over Rs. 200,000 for Bal Asha Trust, which provides quality childcare to abandoned and destitute children from all over Maharashtra.

Jamie Benson (Duane Morris & Selvam) won the toss and sent the bankers into bat. The left- and right-handed batting combination of Bedabrata Das (JM Financial) and Ronak Shah (Yes Securities) proved a challenge for the lawyers’ opening bowlers Sayantan Dutta (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas) and Siddhartha Desai (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas), and the bankers got off to a quick start. Rabindra Jhunjhunwala (Khaitan & Co) and Vijay Parthasarathi (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas) were brought into the attack and Parthasarathi had Shah caught by the wicket keeper, Laban Das (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas), for 9 runs. Satyam Singhal (Morgan Stanley) was next in, but unfortunately for him, he was run out by Jhunjhunwala after facing only one ball. This brought Javeed Siddiqui (ICICI Securities), the captain of the bankers, to the crease. Siddiqui and Das batted very well and the scoreboard ticked over at a fast rate until Siddiqui top-edged an attempted sweep from the bowling of Sanjay Israni (Desai Diwanji) and he was very well caught by Laban Das for 30 runs off only 18 balls. Amit Nayyar (Arpwood Capital) hit two sixes before falling LBW to Murtaza Zoomkawala (Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas) for 21 runs off 10 balls. Bedabrata Das continued to bat well until retiring on 51 runs. The last few overs saw the bankers lose a few more wickets, but they ended up with an imposing 191 runs for 7 wickets off 20 overs.

Vijay Parthasarathi and Rabindra Jhunjhunwala (Khaitan & Co) got the lawyers off to a very good start, despite some good bowling from Harshit Talesara (IIFLCAP) and Arjun Mehotra (ICICI Securities). The lawyers were on track with the required run rate after 5 overs but a change in the bowling brought a big change to the complexion of the match. Nayyar was brought on to bowl and Jhunjhunwala tried to hit him out of the ground, only to be caught at long off by Siddiqui for 11 runs. Parthasarathi continued to bat well but when he was out for 41 runs caught by Nayyar off the bowling of Shubham Mehta (Edelweiss) the match was as good as over. A combination of very good bowling from Nayyar (3 wickets), Gaurav Sood (ICICI Securities) (3 wickets) and Mehta (2 wickets), poor shot selection and good catching saw the lawyers crumble from 50 runs for no wicket to all out for 85 runs in 14 overs. Apart from Parthasarathi and Jhunjhunwala, no lawyer got into double figures.

The match raised more than Rs. 200,000 for Bal Asha Trust, with Duane Morris & Selvam donating Rs. 100,000, Khaitan & Co Rs. 75,000 and numerous individuals making generous donations.

The match was the initiative of Jamie Benson of Duane Morris & Selvam. Benson is based in Singapore and is head of Duane Morris & Selvam’s India practice and U.S. securities law practice. Commenting on the match, Benson, who captained the lawyers’ team, said, “Congratulations to the bankers. They played very well. It would have been nice to win, but the main thing was for everyone to have an enjoyable time and to raise money for a very good cause. I am already looking forward to next year’s match.”

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the match. The first match was held to raise money for the families of the staff of the Trident Hotel killed in the 2008 terrorist attacks. Jamie Benson was holed up in the Trident Hotel for 38 hours during the attacks and was lucky enough to walk out alive. Gratifyingly, so much money was raised from various sources that no more was needed to be raised for these families. Subsequent matches have benefited the Red Cross, Oxfam and Bal Asha Trust.

Bankers: 191 runs for 7 off 20 overs (Bedabrata Das 51 retired, Siddiqui 30 and Nayyar 21) beat Lawyers: 85 runs for 10 off 14 overs (Parthasarathi 41, Jhunjhunwala 11; Nayyar 3 wickets for 10 runs off 3 overs, Sood 3 wickets for 8 runs off 2 overs and Mehta 2 wickets for 16 runs off 3 overs).

Amit Nayyar was named Man of the Match for his 3 wickets, 21 runs and 3 catches.

About Duane Morris & Selvam LLP

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is the joint law venture consisting of international law firm Duane Morris LLP and Singapore-based Selvam LLC, with headquarters in Singapore. It serves clients throughout Asia, as well as companies based in the Americas and Europe that are conducting business in Asia and Asian entities and individuals doing business in the Americas and the United Kingdom. Duane Morris LLP, a global law firm with more than 800 attorneys in 29 offices across the United States and around the world, is asked by a broad array of clients to provide innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges. Throughout its more than 100-year history, Duane Morris has fostered a collegial culture, where lawyers work with each other to best serve their clients.

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Advisory excellence in Asia – empty words or finally a reality?

In an increasingly knowledgeable client market providing sophisticated, high-quality advice allows providers of wealth management services to differentiate themselves.

Typically, most private banks aim to achieve “excellence” using a structured advisory process: assessing a client over a number of elements, including risk profile, and developing a customised solution.

In Asia, however, client advisers rarely follow this process for two reasons: it is a young industry and the current incentive structures for the front-line staff.

Although the last financial crisis was an exceptional situation, it has brought into focus the need for a comprehensive client analysis as a cornerstone of high-quality advice.

In order to deliver suitable services a constant learning process is required, driven by both providers of financial services and the clients.

High-quality advice in rising demand

The demand for high-quality advice is made more acute as Asian clients are usually highly hands-on in making investment decisions compared to their European counterparts.

They are also generally more willing to take risks and are more receptive to innovative products.

Despite Asian clients continuing to taking their own decisions, the need for advice still increases, especially for the initial risk assessment.

The Asian market has several notable features that differentiate it from more mature ones.

Firstly, the largest proportion of assets generally remain with the first generation, and for private banks that means the demand for wealth planning services will increase.

Secondly, there is generally little distinction between business and personal assets, therefore an adviser who can offer solutions in both areas adds more value to their clients and can obtain a larger share of their assets.

These factors place high demands on client advisers and other wealth management specialists.

A few years ago, Singapore’s Institute of Banking and Finance installed occupational groups and corresponding standards of competence for wealth management.

Even so, while the foundations for implementing these requirements had long since been established in the form of the Wealth Management Institute, supported by government subsidies for training, the implementation of these standards is only slowly making headway in the industry.

In addition to the quality standards of advisers, the sheer availability of the required number of these trained specialists remains a key challenge for the industry.

Correct, timely decision making

The opportunities for growth in Asia remain enormous.

To take advantage of this, major adaptations to systems, processes, and change management approaches are necessary in order to successfully develop a business in a sustainable manner.

The correct use of expert knowledge will play a central role in the quick development and sustained implementation of solutions in Asia.

Many private banks still work with the “everything for everyone” approach, with no clear differentiation for client segments.

Advisers often have too many clients to be able to really focus. Inadequate processes and a lack of suitable systems compound this.

Furthermore, advisers require continuous support in the provision of advice to their clients, especially for cross-border activities, where the requirements change constantly.

In addition to the necessary and continuous advanced training, advisers must also be able to rely on an efficient infrastructure to assess their client’s needs and to develop robust solutions.

This can be an important factor, especially in Asia, for companies who wish to retain existing and attract new advisers.

Central to any change is a universal vision carried by every employee, regardless of their level.

Resulting initiatives need to be incorporated within a uniform strategic framework to ensure resources are effectively used, employees are committed thanks to logical and consistent communication, and the interaction between the headquarters and the Asian management team is optimised.

A shared vision also helps convince clients about the benefits of an ongoing relationship, as opposed to a pure transaction-oriented business.

Mario Bassi is managing director and Asia head at Solution Providers Singapore, Management Consulting

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Synpulse widens circle of Partners

International management consultancy Synpulse has two new partners. The appointments are a result of strong growth in the company’s business with banks and insurers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Synpulse has appointed Prasanna Venkatesan and Salomon Wettstein as new partners, according to a news release on Thursday. The firm also announced that Yves Roesti has joined its team of managing partners.

Roesti is based in Singapore and responsible for Synpulse’s consulting business in Asia. He studied computer science and economics at the University of Zurich and started his career at Synpulse in Zurich in 2006. Since his relocation to Singapore in 2008, he has led the expansion of Synpulse’s consulting business in Asia.

Promoting Digital Roadmaps

In 2015, he was appointed partner. Under his leadership, Synpulse grew the team in Asia to 150 consultants across three key markets – Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. In particular, Roesti has been promoting banking operating model transformations and digital roadmaps.

Wettstein joined Synpulse in 2011. He holds a Master in Computational Science and Engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Wettstein heads the Hong Kong office and oversees the banking practice in the Greater China region. He manages strategic business and technology transformations for clients in that region and is part of the global Operational Excellence leadership team.

Consulting Private Banks

Venkatesan also started his career at Synpulse in 2011 and is based in Singapore. He holds an MBA from the Nanyang University of Technology (NTU) in Singapore. He specializes in consulting for the private banking sector in the areas of advisory excellence, large scale transformation and leads the regulatory, risk and compliance practice in Asia.

Since its founding in 1996, Synpulse has supported banks and insurers along the entire value chain – that is from the development of strategies and their operational realization to technical implementation and handover. Synpulse stands out due to the industry expertise, passion and commitment of its more than 350 employees. The firm has offices in Zurich, Geneva, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Bratislava, Vienna, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York and London.

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Griffith Business alumnus becomes Trade & Investment commissioner

Griffith Business School alumnus Julie-Anne Nichols has been announced as Queensland’s new Trade and Investment Commissioner for China.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Ms Nichols, who holds a Bachelor of International Business and a Graduate Diploma in Mandarin Chinese Language from the University, has exceptional experience as a leader and stakeholder liaison with the Asian business landscape that will serve her well in the key role.

“Ms Nichols has been the Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner in Hong Kong since February 2017 and was previously the Senior Trade Commissioner for Austrade in Guangzhou and in Singapore, so her experience across Asia is outstanding,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“She is well placed to represent Queensland’s interests in trade and investment across all industries and has an extensive knowledge of the Chinese market.”

Acting Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor Fabrizio Carmignani congratulated Ms Nichols on her appointment, which will see her work to improve trade and investment ties between Queensland and China.

“We are proud to hear that one of our remarkable Griffith Business School alumni has climbed to such tremendous heights in the international trade and investment sector,” Professor Carmignani said.

“As a university with historically strong ties to the Asia region, it is deeply rewarding to see Julie-Anne living the Griffith value of engaging with our northern neighbours to achieve meaningful outcomes and impacts for the state of Queensland at large.

“We wish Julie-Anne all the best in her new and exciting role, and will be watching eagerly as she continues to move from strength to strength in her career.”

Ms Nichols has been a resident of China for a decade, during which time she has overseen several teams working across eastern China and north-east Asia.

One of her first duties, according to the state government, will be to oversee the 30th anniversary of the Queensland Government Sister-State Agreement with Shanghai Municipal Government, being commemorated this year.

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Insights and reports for technology driven visionary leaders

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