Ai Chiat is Director of the Corporate Administration and Infrastructure Department and Head of Governance and Client Relations. Based in the Singapore office, her responsibilities include leading global workplace management as part of her role in the Corporate Administration & Infrastructure Department. Under her Governance and Client Relations portfolio, her team manages key communications with our Client, the Government of Singapore. They always strive to understand, anticipate, and manage their needs and issues by coordinating with departments across GIC.
Outside of work, Ai Chiat enjoys bonding with her teenage children through activities like baking, cooking, and painting . As they grow older and become more independent, she is excited to learn alongside them, rather than just guide them through tasks.
Why did you decide to join GIC?
I first came across an advertisement for GIC on the cover of my University Hall’s Dinner & Dance publicity folder in 1996. The following year, I noticed an ad for a position in the “Client Services Unit” in the recruitment section of a newspaper. The purpose and global nature of GIC’s institutional asset management business compelled me to apply.
At the time, I had recently graduated with a degree in banking and finance and had been working in a bank for a few months. However, based on my internship experience, I knew that the banking industry did not appeal to me. Although I was not familiar with GIC’s culture, I took a leap of faith and applied for the position. Since then, I have never looked back.
Working at GIC and having so many friends in this company is a blessing in my life. I am grateful for the opportunity to work here.
What does your typical workday look like?
Every day begins with a steaming cup of black coffee, whether I am at home or in the office. I take a quick scan of my inbox, keeping an eye out for any urgent messages from overseas teams that may have come in overnight.
For lunch, I usually meet up with my fellow colleagues or clients. Over a shared meal, we chat about our work and exchange ideas and perspectives. It is a great opportunity to unwind and enjoy some light-hearted moments amidst the hustle and bustle of the workday.
Once work is over, my focus shifts to my family. We sit down together for dinner, an important daily ritual in my family. It is a time to catch up on each other’s days, share stories, and simply enjoy each other’s company over a delicious meal.
What do you like most about working here?
After spending over two decades with GIC, there are countless reasons why I continue to enjoy my work here. Leading the Corporate Administration and Infrastructure Department, I’m constantly seeking new and innovative ways to enhance our employees’ work environment, empowering them to deliver their very best. On the Governance and Client Relations side of things, I take great pleasure in cultivating strong relationships with colleagues throughout GIC and the client organisations we work with.
One aspect of my work that I find particularly fulfilling is the process of identifying and resolving problems. I enjoy bringing colleagues together to share their unique perspectives, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on solutions. We start by examining any themes that emerge from the issues at hand, seeking to understand the underlying causes and challenges.
GIC is a huge supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion. On the team level, GIC ensures that our managers actively encourage juniors and other team members to share their opinions and ideas, and that we take the time to actively listen and discuss diverse perspectives. At the end of the day, it is all about promoting a diversity of thoughts and ideas. We recognise that everyone brings their own unique life experiences and perspectives to the table, and it is this diversity that can help sharpen our decision-making processes. By valuing and incorporating different viewpoints, we can create a more dynamic and inclusive workplace culture.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
Given the ever-evolving nature of our industry and the unpredictable, volatile state of the world, agility is essential. We must be able to learn quickly and adapt to changing circumstances. GIC provides us with a wealth of resources that we can draw upon to enhance our knowledge and understanding. All it takes is the initiative on our part to adopt a growth mindset. With a willingness to learn and grow, we can stay ahead of the curve and thrive in this dynamic environment.
I have been fortunate to have bosses who mentored me, considered my opinions, and provided valuable guidance. In addition, I have experienced colleagues who are always ready to provide me with useful advice and direction. Paying it forward, I make myself available to support colleagues who seek my guidance on both work and personal matters. Wherever I can help, I will provide the necessary support, analyse the issues, and discuss possible next steps or solutions.
What you should know before joining GIC
GIC’s purpose and mission distinguishes us from other financial institutions, making it a privilege to contribute towards our outcomes, no matter what role we hold.
The asset management industry is always evolving, and with it comes new challenges. At GIC, there are no dull moments. You can expect to engage in exciting and meaningful work here. It is also important to learn how to be resilient while balancing your priorities in life.