Former GIC investment chief Ng Kok Song ‘deliberating’ bid for Singapore presidency

SINGAPORE – Former GIC chief investment officer Ng Kok Song said on Saturday that he is deliberating a run for the presidency.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Mr Ng, 75, said: “It is an issue of great national importance, and there will be immense personal implications. I am still deliberating.”

An online report on Friday put forth his name as a potential candidate in the upcoming presidential election.

Mr Ng’s remarks come more than a month after entrepreneur George Goh said on June 12 that he intended to contest the upcoming presidential election. Former senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam declared his bid on June 8 and resigned from the Government and People’s Action Party on July 7.

Incumbent President Halimah Yacob has said she will not stand for re-election when her term ends on Sept 13.

Mr Ng retired from GIC – Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund – in 2013 after 27 years.

He is currently executive chairman of investment firm Avanda Investment Management, which he co-founded with two former GIC colleagues in 2015.

Avanda has turned a profit in the last three financial years from 2020 to 2022, according to documents obtained by ST from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

It has had an average of about $73 million in shareholder equity in the last three years.

Mr Ng joined the public service in 1970 as an investment analyst with the Finance Ministry after graduating with a physics degree from the University of Singapore.

The Public Service Commission scholarship recipient then moved to the Monetary Authority of Singapore a year later, when it was formed.

In 1986, five years after GIC was formed, Mr Ng joined it to head the equities and bonds department, and was the fund’s first non-expatriate director. In 2007, he was made GIC’s first group chief investment officer, a post he held till he retired in 2013.

Mr Ng also founded the Singapore International Monetary Exchange in 1984, and was its chairman until 1987. It was later incorporated into the Singapore Exchange as its derivatives arm.

Candidates interested in running for the presidency have been able to collect forms from the Elections Department or its website since June 13.


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