THE leading lights of the local corporate governance scene were celebrated at the 11th annual Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA) on July 19 this year, the "Oscars" of the Singapore business world.
At a glitzy ceremony at Resorts World Convention Centre, the very best Singapore-listed companies and business leaders were honoured for their excellence in maintaining strong and effective governance amid a challenging landscape of disruption and transformation.
The big winners of the night included OCBC and Singtel, which both picked up the prestigious gold prize for Best Managed Board in the large-cap category for listed companies with at least S$1 billion in market value.
The large-cap Best Managed Board bronze went to Global Logistic Properties.
The real estate industry also notched up multiple wins. Veteran Lim Ee Seng, outgoing chief executive officer of Frasers Centrepoint Ltd, bagged the large-cap Best CEO trophy, while the mid-cap prize went to Tuan Sing head honcho William Liem and the small-cap one was awarded to Centurion Corp helmsman Kong Chee Min.
City Developments Ltd snagged the SCA's Special Recognition Award, launched last year to recognise outstanding and exemplary conduct related to corporate governance not covered by the other awards. The group was honoured for its leadership in sustainability practices.
For the Best Chief Financial Officer prize, the winners were Tony Mallek from Singapore Press Holdings in the large-cap category; Loh Kai Keong of Boustead Singapore in the mid-cap category and Tan Kah Ghee of Keong Hong Holdings among small-caps.
For the Best Investor Relations award, gold winners included StarHub, Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T), MegaChem and CapitaLand Retail China Trust. And in the Best Annual Report Award category, the gold prizes went to Singtel, Keppel T&T, OKP Holdings and Keppel Reit.
In all, 32 companies and six individuals took home prizes, with the list of winners this year led by the Keppel group which swept five awards and the CapitaLand group which secured three.
The awards were co-organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times, supported by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Singapore Exchange. It was sponsored by Bank Julius Baer with award partners Deloitte, EY, Heidrick & Struggles, KPMG and PwC.
Torsten Linke, head of private banking for South-east Asia and branch manager for Singapore at Bank Julius Baer, said in a speech that the benefits of strong corporate governance outweighed the costs and would help firms navigate an increasingly rough business terrain.
Sound governance, risk management and internal controls can help firms ensure timely and prompt corrective actions are initiated when targets are missed, thereby improving the chance of overall success of their business strategies, he added.
The guest of honour was Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong.