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SBF names ex-senior civil servant Lam Yi Young to succeed retiring CEO Ho Meng Kit

SINGAPORE Business Federation (SBF) chief executive officer (CEO) Ho Meng Kit is retiring after 10 years in the role, to be succeeded by the business chamber's current deputy CEO and former senior civil servant Lam Yi Young, who joined the SBF this July.

The leadership change takes effect from Jan 1, with Mr Ho continuing to help the SBF as its senior adviser after his retirement.

Since 2011, when Mr Ho was appointed CEO, the SBF's membership has grown nearly 50 per cent from 18,400 to 27,200 members.

In Mr Ho's time as CEO, the SBF set up the SBF Foundation as a business community platform for corporate social responsibility, and moved to permanent premises at the SBF Center.

Mr Ho led the SBF "through a period of great changes both in the local and international business landscape", said the SBF's immediate past chairman Teo Siong Seng. "In the face of several economic restructuring cycles, he successfully positioned SBF as an effective partner for the business community and a strong advocate for business transformation and training."

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Reflecting on his tenure, Mr Ho noted that with the majority of SBF members being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that need more assistance in transforming and navigating economic uncertainties, the Federation formed committees to "delve more deeply into key issues and facilitate deeper collaborations and exchanges with government agencies", and expanded international outreach efforts.

His successor, Mr Lam, spent 24 years in the civil service before joining the SBF. He was most recently in the Ministry of Trade and Industry as deputy secretary for the future economy and then deputy secretary for industry, from January 2017 till March 2020.

Before that, he was deputy secretary for policy in the Ministry of Education (MOE) from January 2014 till December 2016, and chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from May 2009 to December 2013. He also served in various other roles in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance and the MOE.

SBF chairman Lim Ming Yan thanked Mr Ho for his contributions and leadership, and welcomed Mr Lam on board, saying: "Yi Young's experience in the development of industry transformation maps and his keen understanding of the Singapore economy will be valuable in deepening SBF's role as the apex business chamber moving ahead."

"I look forward to working closely with Yi Young to strengthen our business ecosystem and help more SMEs conquer the international stage."

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