Peter Ng Kok Song, ex-GIC chief investment officer, thinking of running for S'pore presidency

And then there were three.

Winnie Li | July 15, 2023, 06:46 PM

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Peter Ng Kok Song, the former chief investment officer of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, has confirmed that he is considering running for president, reported Lianhe Zaobao.

In response to Zaobao's query, the 75-year-old said he is aware that this is a significant matter which concerns the nation and which will have a substantial impact on him personally.

Ng told The Straits Times separately: “It is an issue of great national importance and there will be immense personal implications. I am still deliberating.”

He is currently the chairman of Avanda Investment Management, a company he co-founded in 2015, which manages an overall asset of around S$13.4 billion, reported Bloomberg.

His potential run for the presidency was first broken by the socio-political site, Wake Up Singapore on Jul. 15, 2023.

Who is Ng?

A physics graduate from the University of Singapore, Ng served at the finance ministry from 1970 to 1971 and at the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 1972 and 1986, according to Avanda's official website.

In 1986, he began his 27-year career at GIC, where he played an instrumental role in building GIC's in-house capability for managing global equities, fixed-income investments, and currencies.

Ng also led GIC in navigating several financial crises throughout his tenure, including the October 1987 market decline, the 1998 Asian currency crisis, the dot-com bust of 2001, and the 2008 global financial crisis.

In 2012, the Singapore government awarded Ng the Meritorious Service Medal.

He retired from GIC in 2013.

More recently, between 2013 to 2018, Ng served on the board of directors of the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Outside of the business world, Ng is also no stranger to the field of higher education as he has been the Chairman Emeritus of the Wealth Management Institute at the Nanyang Technological University since 2017 and has served on the board of governors of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, according to Avanda.

Into meditation

Perhaps what is lesser known about Ng is that he is the national coordinator for WCCM (World Community for Christian Meditation) Singapore.

According to WCCM's website, it is a spiritual community united in the practice of meditation in the Christian tradition, which spans more than a hundred countries.

Ng had helped re-introduce meditation to former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew after his wife passed away, and Ng's conducive role was acknowledged by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his eulogy to his father in 2015.

Candidates interested in running for the presidency can collect forms from the Elections Department or its website since June 13.

Top images via WCCM & IMF