Joel is an Associate based in GIC’s London office that invests in private or listed infrastructure companies through direct investments, co-investments, or fund structures. His team also works on managing and monitoring the assets to ensure they perform at their best.
Outside of work, he’s recently been working on shaking the rust off his French language skills. Now in his first year with the firm, he tells us about his motivation for joining GIC and what he likes most about working here.
Why did you decide to join GIC?
I wanted to work for a company with a positive culture and a collaborative environment. Aiming for excellence is an ideal way to bring a team together. I also believe that having a successful track record is the best way to guide a team through any future challenges.
I had the impression that GIC was an established investor with a global portfolio across asset classes. Due to its unique mandate of managing Singapore’s foreign reserves, I also had the impression that GIC placed a greater emphasis on long-term investing. This perception of GIC was very attractive to me.
As I researched the investments in the GIC portfolio, I came to the conclusion that GIC owns some of the best infrastructure assets in the world. The opportunity to join a team with the responsibility of managing such a portfolio — and to be involved in its future growth — was very appealing to me. I viewed GIC as a best-in-class infrastructure investor, and I saw joining the team as a great learning opportunity.
What does your typical workday look like?
I usually start my day with a pleasant walk to my local tube station, from which I take the tube into work (essential London infrastructure!). When I get to the office, I check my emails and work on any ongoing investment or asset management projects. I usually go to a nearby shop for lunch and then bring my food back to the office. The office has excellent facilities for having lunch with team members or GICians from other teams. I enjoy going for a run after work if I have the time.
What do you like most about working here?
My team members are intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious. It’s always fun to be a part of a group that’s working toward a common goal. I also value the fact that our London office is part of a global network of offices. This, combined with the diverse backgrounds of my team members, exposes me to a wide range of perspectives from around the world.
A common misconception about GIC is that it always invests passively. After joining GIC, I quickly realised that this is incorrect. GIC is concerned with ensuring appropriate governance for its investments, which means that GIC frequently takes an active role in portfolio companies.
GIC also values diversity and inclusion. For me, it all boils down to the second letter of GIC’s PRIME values: respect. My understanding is that creating an inclusive environment is fundamentally about respecting all team members, regardless of their backgrounds. This approach results in a welcoming organisation. GIC, as a global company, naturally has a diverse range of team members with diverse perspectives. This, in my opinion, is extremely valuable.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
GIC offers a comprehensive training programme for new employees. It was a very helpful introduction to both the GIC mandate and the individual business units. I had several meetings with colleagues outside of the infrastructure team as part of my onboarding, which I thought was a great way to meet fellow GICians and learn about the interesting activities at GIC.
What you should know before joining GIC
I would certainly encourage candidates to apply to GIC. Submitting an application is an excellent way to gain first-hand knowledge of GIC. The application process is detailed and well-organised. Meeting team members gradually through interviews provided me with a great introduction to the team – and reaffirmed my desire to work at GIC. Potential candidates could go through the same process and, if successful, they would have the opportunity to be a part of a special organisation with a unique mandate.