Hwee Lay leads the Business Audit team within the Internal Audit Department in GIC Singapore Office. The team provides assurance and advisory services across investment groups, both public and private markets, and corporate services functions to ensure adequacy and effectiveness in risk management, control, and governance processes. Continuous audit and working on advanced data analytics projects to identify usual or anomalous activities are part of their scope too!
While work continues to keep her busy, she makes sure to attend yoga lessons a couple times a week to recharge and refocus. She also enjoys spending time with her family and catching up on her self-improvement book.
What does your typical workday look like?
I always start my day with a healthy breakfast with a nice cup of coffee and reading the news. I also like to listen to the business news while I make my way to the office.
Once I am settled into the office, I could be reviewing audit planning memos, audit issues and reports, discussing audit results with stakeholders, providing advisory services or challenges faced by my team depending on what projects are taking place. And at any one time, the team would have multiple audits, advisories and analytics projects going on. There are also meetings and one-on-one catch ups with my manager, team, and peers.
I would typically have lunch with colleagues from other departments or my team. If the schedule allows, I will make time for yoga practice in the evening, otherwise I will practice for 15-20mins in the morning.
What sparked your interest or decision to join GIC?
It is the purpose and role in safeguarding the country’s reserves. And being a Singaporean, it makes this role more meaningful as I can contribute to my own country. Also, it was through the interview that I learned that GIC is a progressive and innovative organisation. I have always thought that GIC is traditional and hierarchical, but I was wrong! In fact, I am excited to be part of the team that drives the change. I remember shortly after I joined, I attended an innovation symposium which was very refreshing for me.
What do you like most about working here?
The people! My team and colleagues across the organization and offices. I like the friendly, respectful, and collaborative culture and this is quite unique to GIC. Everyone here has a sense of purpose and everything we do is strongly aligned to our values.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
Top-notch. There is genuine interest by the organization in growing and developing our people. Aside from the opportunities provided within the department, GIC also helps staff to learn from another team/department through mobility opportunities. Also, GIC School (they are the Learning & Development Team equivalent) ensures our staff are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. I am impressed with the Global Foundation Programme that they run annually for all new hires and promotes. Workshops and panel sessions that they organize help new hires to assimilate well into the organisation.
What do you read to keep abreast with business/industry knowledge?
Straits Times, Financial Times, Industry articles and magazines. I am also a member of the Advocacy Committee in the Institute of Internal Auditors which is an avenue for me to learn the latest developments relating to the profession. I also attend industry networking events in the financial services industry. All the formal and informal catch ups with colleagues from other departments also help us stay abreast of the latest developments. Given the scope that my team and I cover is wide, we would divide and conquer to keep abreast of external developments and share our insights in our team meetings.
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