Excellence in Risk Management: Agnes Koh, SGX

1 month ago 90

Markets Media spoke with Agnes Koh, Chief Risk Officer at SGX, who won Excellence in Risk Management at the 2024 Women in Finance Asia Awards.

Agnes Koh

What was your reaction to winning the award?

I was extremely honoured and humbled especially as I had begun my career in Risk management 18 years ago after coming out of an 8-year career break and without the “right credentials” then.

This was back in 2005 when it was more difficult than it is today to re-enter the workforce; opportunities were scarce then for return-to-work mums.

That is why I am very grateful that SGX Group as an employer was willing to take a chance on me. Despite my not being a quant, they valued my previous experience as a portfolio manager and were open to hiring someone with the practical risk experience navigating through different market crisis, rather than a person with the theoretical know-how.

The journey was tough, especially in the first year, from being 24/7 with the children to working in the office for many hours away from home. Like many working mothers, I struggled with the initial guilt feelings.

The difficult transition was eased as SGX, being the only market infrastructure in Singapore offered a unique and interesting, even exciting, proposition with so much to learn. Our management supported my proposal to rotate through other departments early on, which enabled me to learn quickly and to build new relationships outside the Risk team to better understand the purpose of t...

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