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OCBC Bank Appoints New Head of Global Treasury

OCBC Bank Appoints New Head of Global Treasury

  • 09 Jul 2020

Industry veteran Kenneth Lai will take over from Mr Lam Kun Kin, who is retiring after more than three decades in the finance industry


OCBC Bank today announced a leadership change to take place on 1 October 2020 with the appointment of Mr Kenneth Lai as the new Head of Global Treasury. Mr Lai takes over from Mr Lam Kun Kin, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Global Treasury, who is retiring after 33 years in the financial industry.

Mr Kenneth Lai (below), will report directly to OCBC Bank’s Group Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tsien and will also be appointed as a member of the Bank’s Management Committee.

Kenneth Lai

Mr Lai, 53, has been with the Bank since February 2012. Throughout his 30-year career, he has worked in different geographies in Asia and different functions across trading, sales and asset liability management. Before joining OCBC Bank, he worked for Ta Chong Bank in Taiwan, where he was appointed as Head of Financial Markets by the Carlyle Group to help revamp its investment buy out. Between 2001 and 2008, he held several key appointments with ABN AMRO bank in Singapore including Asia Head of Local Markets FX and Asia Head of Institutional Sales, as well as its Head of Global Markets Malaysia based in Kuala Lumpur. He started his career at Banker Trust Company and has also worked for other financial institutions including Merrill Lynch and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. 

In his eight years with OCBC Bank, Mr Lai has significantly expanded and strengthened the Bank’s international treasury operations, product and market coverage, as well as earnings contribution. He manages all international treasury centres under OCBC Bank. After the acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank in 2014 to become OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Mr Lai helped to strategically transform the two treasury platforms in Hong Kong into a hub covering North Asia.

Since 2015, Mr Lai has also been responsible for the Bank’s Asset and Liability Management (ALM) globally strengthening its liquidity deployment and funding centralisation.

Mr Lai has actively contributed to the financial markets community. He served on the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee’s Foreign Exchange sub-committee from 2003 to 2004 and was ACI Singapore’s deputy president between 2004 and 2006. He is a member of the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore’s Financial Markets Regulatory Practices (FMRP) examination board and a member of the MAS-sponsored Singapore Financial Leaders Network. 

Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Samuel Tsien, said: “I am pleased to appoint Kenneth Lai as our Head of Global Treasury with effect from 1 October 2020. Ken is no stranger to OCBC. He joined us in 2012 as the Head of International Treasury. Since then, Ken’s strong leadership and business acumen have enabled him to significantly expand and strengthen the operations, and increase the earnings contribution of all overseas treasury centres. Ken’s additional role in asset-liability management of the Singapore operations as well as those of overseas markets have enhanced our group-wide liquidity management capabilities and funding optimisation. He is uniquely qualified to step up into the new role. Ken will join the Management Committee and the Strategy and Capital Committee, which I am confident will benefit from his knowledge and experience.” 

The internal appointment reflects the Bank’s strong internal talent base for succession planning, Mr Tsien added. “Ken’s latest appointment is another testimony of how we actively manage ahead for succession planning where we review regularly our mid- to senior-level management bench strength on a forward-looking basis.”

Mr Lam Kun Kin joined OCBC Bank in 2007 as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Treasury. He was appointed Senior Executive Vice President in 2011. In addition to Global Treasury, Mr Lam Kun Kin oversaw the Bank’s Global Investment Banking from 2012 to February 2020.

Mr Tsien thanked Mr Lam for his contributions to OCBC over the past 13 years. “Kun Kin has played a significant role in the transformation and growth of our treasury and investment banking businesses. Not only has Kun Kin enhanced the business models which have expanded our regional diversification and strengthened our customer engagement, he has built a strong work culture in the trading room that promotes prudent risk taking and control. He has also invested in a robust infrastructure centered on active utilisation of technology. We greatly appreciate Kun Kin’s dedication and leadership in building our business franchise and wish him well in his retirement.”


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Rachel Au-Yong