The EMFin made me a more well-rounded finance professional with coverage of both corporate finance and capital markets.
Jie Liang Thum
Describe yourself in 15 words or less:
Economist-turned-portfolio manager charged with protecting and growing Singapore’s official foreign reserves.
Fun fact about yourself:
I love scuba diving and marine life in general.
Undergraduate School and Degree:
University of Chicago, Economics major
Where are you currently working, and what is your role?
I am a portfolio manager at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s central bank. I work in the Reserve Management Department, which is responsible for managing Singapore’s official foreign reserves. I am in the asset allocation division, which oversees the strategic asset allocation of MAS’ investment portfolio.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career so far?
I co-authored a paper on possible systemic risks posed by Japanese regional banks while on secondment at the Bank of Japan. The paper is due to be published in the International Journal of Central Banking in September 2020.
Why did you choose the INSEAD EMFin?
The EMFin made me a more well-rounded finance professional with coverage of both corporate finance and capital markets. The international profile of participants was also attractive to me.
What was the EMFIN class experience like?
It was a good mix of theory and application, lectures and case studies.
There is plenty of participation from the class, which adds another dimension to our understanding of the topic.
There are also plenty of opportunities to ask our classmates questions during break times, and after class.
Who was your favourite EMFin professor and why?
The EMFin professors are fantastic. Their passion for their respective fields of expertise is palpable. That said, I think that Massimo Massa stands out for challenging our thinking and stretching us the most.
You have been promoted at your organisation during the EMFin programme. In what way do you think the EMFin helped you achieve this promotion?
Coming from a job function and educational background that was not as finance focused, I think that going through the EMFin programme gave senior management added confidence that I was able to handle the demands of a bigger job, which entails a deep understanding of how financial markets function.
During your time as an EMFin student, how were you able to juggle work, family and education?
It was tough! I tried to find pockets of time to do pre-readings while commuting. I also brought my family to Fontainebleau for the elective module. That said, I do think the modular full-time structure of this programme is better from a work-life perspective than other programmes that are delivered over week nights and weekends.
What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an Executive Master in Finance programme?
Give yourself enough time to evaluate the programme. It is a big commitment that will take up a significant chunk of your time and balancing the demands of the programme with work is not easy.
I spent three years talking to the admissions staff, former participants and doing my own research before applying for the programme.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?
I want to be a specialist operating at the nexus of finance and economics.