GIC is in the midst of one of its boldest transformations yet. The Singapore sovereign wealth fund will be harnessing tech advancements to supercharge its investment - one that impacts the financial future of a nation.
The organisation has been on a journey to be a tech-driven firm that leverages on data and digital to automate operations, power decision-making, and secure a competitive edge through intelligence and insights.
“We are building a world class technology organisation that is best-in-breed in the asset management space,” says its Director of Technology Group, Larry Beck.
“GIC values data and technology as a precious commodity, and understands that as a tech-driven organisation, we will be better, faster and more astute.”
Tech-focused jobs, on par with pure-plays
Tay Lim Hock, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Group Chief Investment Officer, envisions a tech-driven GIC as one where teams across its front, middle and back office work seamlessly to generate good investment performance and create value-add in a scalable, efficient manner over the long term.
This will allow the organisation to draw insights from its large and rapidly increasing pools of multi-asset portfolio data, to manage risk, enhance returns, and improve efficiency.
To navigate these enormous quantities of data, GIC will embed the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing across its operations, to supplement investment managers’ intuition and judgement.
It also plans to simplify and deepen its tech ecosystem, leverages the latest available technologies, and parse more data – both structured and unstructured – for investment research and risk analysis.
To support these expanded capabilities, the organisation has set up two new teams: its Investment Insights Group and Data Strategy Group. These new groups will work closely with – but not be integrated under – its existing Technology, Investment Operations and Risk Management groups.
“What this means is that our tech team can focus solely on solving problems with tech, no different from how our investment professionals have a singular focus on investing,” Lim Hock explains.
To support this transformation, GIC is hiring top-notch, agile and diverse technology talent to support its fast-growing needs across data, engineering, infrastructure, and investment insights. GIC is looking for smart people, who respect one another, brings diversity of perspectives, and a clear sense of purpose to help invest well for Singapore.
Dozens of roles are available across the technology stack, covering full-stack development, DevOps, data engineering, data science, and business analysis – as well as digital product design and development, actionable analytics, core infrastructure optimisation, corporate systems, and enterprise productivity tools. Already, GIC expects to onboard over 50 new tech hires in the coming months.
“We are looking to build a premier technology team that is best in breed in delivering cutting-edge tech,” says Larry. “New joiners will be working with some of the best and brightest minds.”
Projects on the cutting edge
GIC’s ambition is evident in projects that span all areas of technology, thanks to an extensive and varied portfolio. The organisation is one of the world's leading investors across different asset classes, encompassing equities, fixed income, private equity, infrastructure and real estate.
One of its latest enterprise-wide projects is building a common master dataset across asset classes. Meeting this challenge requires innovative solutions spanning multiple areas of technology.
GIC frequently develops bespoke solutions in-house to support its unique business needs. It is already using AI and machine learning to simplify and speed up processes, investment models, and research. It also leverages cloud technology for speed, accessibility, and business continuity.
To keep itself on the cutting edge of technology, its tech team works closely with its business divisions to understand challenges and anticipate desires.
The organisation also runs multi-year strategic programs to explore the tech landscape and ensure it is consistently on top of developments, and boasts an extensive network of partners that help it source, invest and keep abreast with the latest opportunities across companies and geographies.
All these mean GIC is continuously exploring new technologies to make better investment and operations decisions. Paired with data insights, this helps it pivot rapidly to meet changing demands.
“We are different because we always challenge the status quo on how we stay ahead of the curve,” says Larry. “We understand that technology moves at the speed of light. Our ability to pivot, fail fast, and explore helps us adapt swiftly.”
Adds Lim Hock: “The work of a tech professional in the fund management industry is very exciting at this juncture, as there are complex problems to be solved that will make a big impact in the way capital is managed and deployed.”
Meaningful investments for generations
From Larry’s point of view, one of the most powerful reasons to join GIC is its unique mandate.
“We are here to invest for the future. GIC’s returns benefit generations of Singaporeans, which makes a career here meaningful,” he says.
This mission came to life amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when Singapore was able to draw on her reserves to support hard-hit sectors and individuals for over two years. Returns on the reserves have also comprised the largest source of government revenue in recent years.
As a sovereign wealth fund, GIC is ideally positioned to put technology at the heart of its investments and operations, as its long-term position and national mission shields it from short-term distractions, allowing it to focus on building a world-class platform and team.
It also has a strong culture of understanding fundamentals, and investing in internal capabilities for the long term.
“What we have to offer is a technology team with smart and innovative people, whom you can be proud to work with, and a meaningful career that contributes to Singapore’s long-term future,” Larry adds. “If you are looking to have a fulfilling and purposeful career, GIC is the place to be.”