Piyush Gupta

Chief Executive Officer, DBS Group Holdings

Mr. Piyush Gupta is Chief Executive Officer and Director of DBS Group.

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with more than 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered in Singapore, DBS is the market leader in the country with over four million customers and with a growing presence in Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, and has been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. The bank has also been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been conferred “Asia’s Best Bank” by The Banker and Euromoney, and “Asian Bank of the Year” by IFR Asia. The bank has also been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015.

Prior to joining DBS, Piyush was Citigroup’s Chief Executive Officer for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Piyush’s external appointments include serving as the Deputy Chairman of SPRING Singapore and on the boards of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, the Institute of International Finance, Washington, The Institute of Banking and Finance, Dr. Goh Keng Swee Scholarship Fund, and the MasterCard Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa Regional Advisory Board. He is also Chairman of Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics Advisory Board, a council member of The Association of Banks in Singapore, the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research, Managing Council member of Indian Business-leaders’ Roundtable (under SINDA), and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society.

Programmes involved:

  • Welcome Address
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Peter Seah

Chairman, DBS Group Holdings

Mr Peter Seah joined the Board of Directors of DBS Group Holdings Ltd and DBS Bank Ltd on 16 November 2009 and assumed the role of Chairman on 1 May 2010. He is Chairman of the Compensation and Management Development Committee, Executive Committee and Nominating Committee, as well as a member of the Audit Committee and Board Risk Management Committee. In addition, he is Chairman of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited and also chairs its Board Risk Management Committee.

Peter is the present Chairman of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd and LaSalle College of the Arts Limited. Peter was a banker for 33 years before retiring as Vice Chairman and CEO of the former Overseas Union Bank in 2001.

Peter is a member of the Temasek Holdings Advisory Panel. He also serves on the boards of CapitaLand Limited, Starhub Ltd, STATS ChipPAC Ltd and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited. Amongst other appointments, he is also a board member of the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Programme Involved:

  • Closing Remarks
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Yuval Noah Harari

Author of International Bestsellers 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' and 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow'

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is the author of international bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, as well as the forthcoming 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (out September 2018).

Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Harari originally specialized in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?

Prof. Harari is a two-time winner of the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality, which he was awarded in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History’s Moncado Award for outstanding articles on military history. In 2017 Homo Deus won Handelsblatt’s German Economic Book Award for the most thoughtful and influential economic book of the year. In 2018 Prof. Harari gave a keynote speech on the future of humanity on the Congress Hall stage of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. Published in 2014, Prof. Harari’s book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind has become an international hit and is published in nearly 50 languages worldwide. It was listed on the Sunday Times bestseller list for over six months in paperback, and was a New York Times top 10 bestseller. The book was recommended by Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

In 2016 Prof. Harari returned with Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, a critically acclaimed book that examines the big future projects facing humanity in the 21st century.

September 2018 will see the publication of Yuval Noah Harari’s next book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. After exploring deep into the past and then the future in his previous two books, here Harari stops to take the pulse of our current global climate, focusing on the biggest questions of the present moment: What is really happening right now? What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? What should we pay attention to? Prof. Harari regularly lectures around the world on the topics explored in his books and articles, and has written for newspapers such as the Guardian, Financial Times, The Times, Nature magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

He also offers his knowledge and time to various organizations and audiences on a voluntary basis.

Programmes involved:

  • Asia Leadership Dialogue
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Heng Swee Keat

Minister for Finance, Republic of Singapore

Mr Heng Swee Keat is the Minister for Finance and Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC. The Ministry of Finance manages the national budget, oversees corporate governance regulations, and supervises the prudent investment and utilisation of public funds and government reserves. Mr Heng co-chaired the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE), which charted the strategies for Singapore’s next phase of growth. He chairs the tripartite Future Economy Council, which oversees the implementation of national strategies in areas such as skills and capabilities development, innovation and productivity, and industry transformation. He is also the Chairman of the National Research Foundation, which sets the direction for Singapore’s research, innovation and enterprise strategies. Before this, Mr Heng served as Minister for Education from 2011 to 2015. He drove programmes for a student-centric, values-driven education system, emphasising the holistic development of students and multiple educational pathways. While at MOE, Mr Heng also led Our Singapore Conversation, a national consultation exercise that reached out to close to 50,000 Singaporeans on their aspirations for Singapore’s future. In 2015, he chaired the Singapore 50 (SG50) Steering Committee leading the celebrations for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. Prior to entering politics in May 2011, Mr Heng was the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), where he received the “Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia-Pacific” Award by the British magazine The Banker. He has served in various other public service positions, including appointments in the Singapore Police Force, as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Trade Development Board, and as the Principal Private Secretary to then-Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew from 1997 to 2000. In 2001, Mr Heng was awarded the Gold Medal in Public Administration, and the Meritorious Medal in 2010 for his contribution to the public service in Singapore.

Mr Heng has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University. He also holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Programmes involved:

  • Keynote Address
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Peter Ho

Senior Advisor, Centre for Strategic Futures, Republic of Singapore

Peter Ho is the Senior Advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures, a Senior Fellow in the Civil Service College, and a Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Peter Ho is Chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), Chairman of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Chairman of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), Chairman of the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Steering Committee, and Chairman of the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) Governing Council. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore (NUS), and a board member of the National Research Foundation (NRF), a member of the Board of Governors of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), and of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP).

When he retired from the Singapore Administrative Service in 2010 after a career in the Public Service stretching more than 34 years, he was Head, Civil Service, concurrent with his other appointments of Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs), Permanent Secretary (National Security & Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary (Defence).

Programmes involved:

  • Opening Plenary: Asia 2030 Scenarios
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Noeleen Heyzer

Social Scientist and Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General

Noeleen Heyzer was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the highest ranking Singaporean in the United Nations (2007-2014). She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership, the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development. She was at the forefront of many innovations including for inclusive socio-economic policies, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, regional disaster preparedness, energy security and regional connectivity.

She was the first Executive Director outside of North America to lead the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She was widely recognized for the formulation and implementation of the landmark of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

Dr. Heyzer was also the UN SG’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development. Currently she is a member of the UN SG’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation.

She holds a BA Hons and MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University, and has received numerous international awards for leadership.

Programme involved:

  • Opening Plenary: Asia 2030 Scenarios
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Taimur Baig

Chief Economist and Managing Director, DBS Group Research

Taimur Baig, Ph.D., heads economics as well as fixed income and currency research at DBS Bank. Prior to joining DBS, Taimur was a Principal Economist in the Economic Policy Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). He had previously spent nearly a decade at Deutsche Bank’s Singapore office, where his last position was Managing Director and Chief Economist, Asia. There he managed a team of economists based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Bangalore to analyze and forecast Asia’s 10 largest economies. He also advised the bank’s management and top clients on regional risks and opportunities.

Before Deutsche Bank, Taimur was based in Washington, DC, at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund, for eight years, where his last position was Senior Economist. Rotating across the Asia-Pacific, Fiscal Affairs, and European Departments, Taimur’s coverage included macro forecasting, fiscal and monetary policy, and exchange rates. He has published extensively for both specialists and a general audience, on areas including monetary policy in a deflationary environment, exchange rate regime determination, demographics, energy sector, frontier markets, fiscal policy efficacy, and financial market contagion.

Taimur holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and attended London School of Economics and Wabash College for his B.A. in Economics.

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Hou Wey Fook

Chief Investment Officer, DBS Consumer Banking and Wealth Management

As DBS’s Chief Investment Officer, Wey Fook is responsible for the bank’s investment strategies, including global strategic and tactical asset allocations for clients. He leads a team of investment strategists and communications specialists within the Chief Investment Office (CIO), to establish and curate DBS’ recommended investment strategies, asset allocation calls, as well as thematic trading ideas across the asset classes of equities, bonds, and currencies.

Wey Fook has 30 years of fund management experience, and was most recently at Bank of Singapore where he held various senior management roles including Chief Investment Officer, Head of Discretionary Portfolio Management (DPM) and Funds. During Wey Fook’s tenure as DPM head, assets under management grew substantially to SGD9b and was voted as the best in DPM by Asiamoney Private Banking Poll 2016. He started his career at Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) followed by OCBC Asset Management, before joining ING Asia Private Bank, later renamed Bank of Singapore.

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David Skilling

Founding Director, Landfall Strategy Group

David Skilling is the founding Director of Landfall Strategy Group, a Singapore-based economic advisory firm that provides insights on global economic, political, and policy developments to governments, firms and financial institutions. David serves clients in Australasia, Asia and Europe, bringing distinctive perspectives on the changing global economic and political environment – with a particular focus on how these developments impact on small advanced economies.

David also writes regularly on global economic and political issues, including in the Straits Times, the Wall Street Journal, Project Syndicate, The Times, Foreign Affairs, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and the Nikkei Asian Review.

David has recently served as Senior Advisor to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in New Zealand. Prior to founding Landfall Strategy Group in 2011, David was an Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company in Singapore, as well as being a Senior Fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute. Before joining McKinsey, David was the founding Chief Executive of the New Zealand Institute, a privately-funded, non-partisan think-tank. Until 2003, David was a Principal Advisor at the New Zealand Treasury.

David has a Ph.D. in Public Policy, and a Master in Public Policy degree, from Harvard University, as well as a Master of Commerce degree in Economics from the University of Auckland. David was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008.

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Irvin Seah

Senior Economist, DBS Bank

Irvin Seah is the Senior Vice President and Senior Economist for Economics and Currency Research at DBS Bank in Singapore. He joined DBS in 2006 and he is currently in charge of the macroeconomic coverage of Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Apart from supporting the bank’s investment strategies and advising DBS clients on macroeconomic issues, his opinions on the economy are often featured in the media.

Mr Seah began his career in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, Economics Division, as a government economist under the Economist Service Scheme. In his career with the Ministry, Mr Seah was deeply involved in a wide range of government initiatives. He was also a trade economist as well as a trade negotiator in MTI. Apart from trade related research work, he was also involved in the WTO and several FTA negotiations.

Fluent in Mandarin, Mr Seah holds a Master of Business (Applied Economics) degree from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

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