Jingwei is a Vice President in the Real Estate (RE) Department in the New York Office. She works in Global Investments Portfolio and Strategy (GIPS) group where the team seeks to complement the investment team by advising the RE Investment Committee (IC) on individual investments. She also works closely with the portfolio allocation and risk management teams to ensure characteristics of RE portfolios are well understood by top of the house. In addition, her team stays ahead of trends with market research e.g., understanding home prices trends and secular sector shifts, and how to underwrite these trends in RE investments.
One of her favourite things to do outside of work is running along the Hudson River while listening to podcasts (e.g., NYT Hard Fork series, NPR Throughline, Hidden Brain).
Why did you decide to join GIC?
I only knew that GIC invests Singapore’s reserves but had no real notion of the different asset classes or investment strategies. My summer internship in the London Office convinced me that GIC is where I wanted to start my career. I was impressed by the sheer depth and breadth of our investments, and the autonomy given to an intern (I got to lead external calls!). I also walked away with an impression that GIC values inter-department collaboration and thus signed up for their full-time role through the GIC Professionals Programme.
What does your typical workday look like?
I tend to have early morning meetings to catch my colleagues working in our headquarter in Singapore. These meetings are usually updates from the global team, regional sharing of recent deals, or discussing next steps on projects I am involved in. Our weekly Global RE IC meetings are also in the morning. I take these from home and then head into the office via subway – I listen to the news on my commute to make sure I am caught up on the day’s headlines. I might have meetings with the investment team to discuss an investment they are presenting to the Global RE IC or a question they have on how to underwrite a certain market/sector. There might be a meeting among the regional GIPS team on a current project, or with external guests to understand market trends. There could be a regional IC meeting to discuss deals. I usually bring lunch and catch up with colleagues in the pantry. I dedicate an hour to clearing emails from the day before (usually questions or requests from the other regions). I sometimes also have late night calls if my colleagues in Singapore require my input for a global project.
What do you like most about working here?
The interesting deals, the access to information and connections, as well as the wonderful people! I am impressed by with how much GIC continues to evolve – even within my team, our role has progressed from being focused on market research and forecasting, to assessing large investment deals and monitoring portfolio risks.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
It has been quite a journey! I joined GIC Professionals Programme with no background in finance and had to learn everything from scratch. Even though I came from an economics background, I had no financial modelling skills and was unfamiliar with a cash flow statement. GIC School set me up with the necessary skills, and I had wonderful colleagues who were patient in answering my questions. When I joined RE, the access to information was crucial to getting me up to speed with my market coverage for Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. A chance to relocate to New York Office arose back in 2016 and I decided to seize the opportunity. I had to build up my market knowledge again since the market dynamics in Americas are so different compared to my previous coverage. The sheer amount of data I can analyse from the US is exciting and I also picked up Tableau skills. I am looking forward to the next chapter while RE continues to evolve and maximize value from our investments.
GIC Professionals Programme was great for establishing connections with other departments as we underwent rotations with different business lines, and I would highly recommend it.
What you should know before joining GIC
Join GIC with a willingness to learn and have an open mind. You never know where a career at GIC will take you! But I can assure you that it will be rewarding, and you will have the opportunity to make a difference.
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