Ng Kok Song
Ng Kok Song, or Peter Ng Kok Song (born 1948), is a prominent Singaporean economist and financial executive who is known for his role as the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). As of July 2023, Ng Kok Song, the former Chief Investment Officer of GIC, has emerged as a potential candidate for the upcoming Presidential Election in Singapore.
Early life and family
Ng was born as the second child among 11 siblings and grew up in Kangkar, an area that is now part of Sengkang. Ng's father, the family's sole breadwinner, worked as a fish auctioneer in a local market. Their living conditions were modest, residing in a thatched roof house. Despite the challenges, Ng shouldered responsibilities at a young age, caring for his younger siblings and tending to the family's chickens.
“When I came home from school, I would put them into sarong hammocks and rock them to sleep. In the evenings, I took them out for a walk,”
Ng married Patricia in 1972 when he was 24, and she passed away in 2005 as a result of stomach cancer. Ng has three children from his first marriage, two daughters, and one son. He is currently engaged to Sybil Lau.
Ng attended Montfort School, where he crossed paths with his first wife, Patricia. Following his exceptional academic performance, Ng earned a Public Service Commission scholarship to pursue a physics degree at the University of Singapore. Later, he furthered his education with a Master's degree in management from Stanford University in the United States.
“My father had only a few years of education but he was extremely good at arithmetic. He could tell the weight of a basket of fish just by lifting it, and calculate how much it cost almost instantly. “I inherited that gift from him,”
Ng Kok Song currently holds significant positions in various institutions. He serves as the Chairman Emeritus of the Wealth Management Institute, a renowned training provider established by GIC and Temasek Holdings in 2003. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors of 65 Entity Partners, an investment platform affiliated with Temasek Holdings.
Ng also contributes his expertise as a member of the board of governors at the Asia School of Business in Malaysia and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Furthermore, he is a distinguished member of the Global Advisory board of American investment firm Pimco, where he collaborates with notable figures such as former United States Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Ng Kok Song's involvement in these institutions reflects his continued commitment to the finance industry and his contributions to education and policy development.
Ministry of Finance (Singapore) (May 1970 - Dec 1970)
Despite initially lacking knowledge in economics, he found himself in the Ministry of Finance in 1970, where he played a crucial role in the department of overseas investments. Under the guidance of former banker Elizabeth Sam and Dr Goh Keng Swee, Ng's analytical skills and dedication led him to excel in his role as an investment analyst. His passion for combining numeracy with economics and finance drove him to thrive in the field.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) (Jan 1971 - 1986)
Ng's leadership qualities and intelligence caught the attention of his colleagues, leading to his transfer to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and subsequently heading the London investment office. This experience provided him with invaluable insights into the global financial landscape and allowed him to form important relationships. he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2012.
Singapore International Monetary Exchange (1984 - 1987), GIC (July 1986 - Feb 2013)
In 1983, Ng became the founder chairman of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange and later joined the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) to manage the nation's foreign reserves.
Throughout his tenure, Ng held various significant positions within the GIC, including group chief investment officer since 2007.
Avanda Investment Management (Apr 2015 - present)
In 2015, Ng founded Avanda Investment Management.
Interest in the 2023 presidential election
On 19th July 2023, Ng Kok Song declared his candidacy for the Singaporean presidency. Accompanied by his fiancée Sybil Lau and his three children, Ng arrived at the Elections Department on Wednesday morning to formalize his intentions.
As the third presidential hopeful to step forward, Ng expressed his long-standing contemplation of running for the presidency.
"Concerns about the integrity of our national institutions have convinced me that I should stand for President,"
As an independent President, he aims to bridge differences and unite Singaporeans to navigate the future with confidence.
"Singapore faces uncertain and difficult times ahead. We may have our differences of views and political affiliations, but differences must not become divisions in our society. As an independent President, I will be better able to help unite our country to face an uncertain future."
References / Citations
- Today. "Ng Kok Song: From growing up in Sengkang fishing village to GIC chief investment officer and presidential hopeful". Today. July 19, 2023. Accessed 19th July 2023.
- The Must Share News Team. "Ex-GIC Investment Chief Ng Kok Song May Contest S’pore Presidency, Previously Managed Foreign Exchange Reserves". Must Share News. July 15, 2023. Accessed 19th July 2023.
- Wong, Kim Hoh. "https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/gic-chief-ng-kok-song-s-unlikely-fishing-village-roots". The Straits Times. April 8, 2012. Accessed 19th July 2023.
- Tang, See Kit. "What we know about Ng Kok Song, the man who could be Singapore's 3rd presidential candidate". Channel News Asia. July 19, 2023. Accessed 19th July 2023.
- Avanda Investment Management. "Leadership Team". Avanda Investment Management. n.d. Accessed 19th July 2023.