Shek Khi Huin is an Assistant Vice President in GIC’s Private Equity department and as a member of the Direct Investments Group, he evaluates and executes investments in minority private equity, growth capital, and structured capital transactions in Southeast Asia.
Why did you decide to join GIC?
Having initially explored entrepreneurship in my secondary school days, I realised that I enjoyed understanding how businesses work and generate returns on capital. Naturally, I found myself inclined to pursue a career in equity investments, where I would have the opportunity to meet and learn about a wide gamut of businesses on a day-to-day basis. GIC, being a leading global long-term investor with a strong track record of nurturing young investment professionals, stood out to me as a great place to start my career.
To me, career attributes like purpose, culture, and growth are important, and fuel my motivation to constantly improve, by seeking exposure and learning opportunities.
What does your typical workday look like?
Due to the deal-based nature of the job, there are no typical workdays in the Private Equity department. Personally, I appreciate the dynamism of not having a routine and that is a large part of why I enjoy the role.
Across the year, my time is split between various stages of the deal cycle. This includes identifying attractive opportunities, evaluating deal attractions and risks, executing the investments, and managing our portfolio companies. It is exhilarating to be exposed to a myriad of investment opportunities across sectors and geographies. One day, I could be evaluating a leading supermarket chain in Vietnam and the next it could be a hypergrowth, early-stage fintech disruptor in Indonesia. I never know what to expect next.
What do you like most about working here?
I like the intellectual rigour of the GIC investment process and working within high-performance teams. As investors, we must walk the fine line of paying fair prices for good businesses. This is often easier said than done. Given the complexity of Private Equity deals, each team member typically takes ownership of separate workstreams. Throughout the process, we keep a constant, open dialogue within the team to refine our deal theses. GIC, being a global organisation with diverse colleagues from various backgrounds, also offers us a large internal network of specialists to tap on and further refine our views. The iterative process of working through the noise, incorporating information from disparate sources, constantly challenging our existing beliefs, and developing conviction around an investment truly excites me.
Another differentiated aspect of working at GIC is our purpose. GIC directly supplements the Singapore budget through the Net Investment Returns Contribution, which allows the Singapore Government to make further investments for the long term, such as public infrastructure. Specifically, my team is also amongst the most active investors in the Southeast Asian region. We provide capital and support some of the most vibrant, exciting companies in the region, which in turn, stimulate local economies by creating jobs and developing new products and services. Knowing that my work has a positive impact on Singapore and the broader ASEAN region is a source of great personal satisfaction.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
GIC has a strong culture of developing young talent. Juniors are encouraged to speak up and take on more responsibilities whenever possible. I’ve experienced this first-hand as an observer in our portfolio companies’ board meetings, having a significant voice in shaping investment decisions, and briefing GIC management on key external meetings. My experience thus far has given me great confidence that the organisation has my back and will continue to support my goals.
What you should know before joining GIC
I’ve always believed that if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day (or it makes it that much easier to get through a tough day). That’s why it’s critical to be as well-informed as possible when taking on a new role, not just at GIC, but at any organisation. My advice would be to tap on your personal networks and speak to the relevant people, ideally someone in the team you are looking to join, to thoroughly assess if the role and the experience is a good fit.