The initiative will enhance Singapore’s capabilities in these areas, fuelling further growth of professional services sector
KPMG in Singapore has launched three new Centres of Excellence (COEs) that will focus on cybersecurity, international tax and energy trading. The COEs will facilitate advanced practitioner training in each of these specialist areas, growing the number of specialists within the professional services sector over the next five years and supporting Singapore’s growth ambitions.
"We have identified these three areas as having the most opportunities for growth, given the global shortage of talent in these areas and the upcoming formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of this year," said Mr Tan Wah Yeow, Deputy Managing Partner at KPMG in Singapore. "Our new COEs, launched with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board, aim to grow our expertise in cybersecurity, international tax and energy trading so that we can help clients take full advantage of the opportunities and navigate challenges."
KPMG will invest more than $15 million in these new COEs over a two-year period and employ more than 50 Singaporeans or Permanent Residents with relevant specialist skills to expand the firm’s network of experts. Further, a new talent development programme will be introduced to develop the skills and knowledge of local consultants in these identified areas.
"The growth opportunities in Asia coupled with increasing uncertainties and complexities in the global environment are driving demand for deeper levels of expertise in professional services," said Mr Kelvin Wong, Assistant Managing Director at the Singapore Economic Development Board. "The investment by KPMG is a strong vote of confidence in Singapore’s role as the leading professional services hub where cutting edge innovation and knowledge are created and delivered to clients expanding in Asia. These Centres of Excellence will also create for Singaporeans exciting career opportunities as knowledge experts and advisors in high growth areas."
Singapore as a cybersecurity, international tax and energy trading hub
"The economics of cybercrime drives sophisticated efforts and we are seeing the rise of determined, organised and well-funded attacks on systems. KPMG’s cybersecurity COE aims to build up a strong network of experts and body of knowledge to help clients focus on pervasive monitoring, as well as rapid detection and response to cyber risks, which can threaten the confidence and safety of doing businesses today," explained Mr Lyon Poh, KPMG in Singapore’s lead partner in cybersecurity.
"The impetus behind the international tax COE is to give clients quick access to Singapore-based professionals with first-hand country-focused business and industry knowledge, as well as international tax laws," said Mr Gordon Lawson, Head of International Tax at KPMG in Singapore.
He added that KPMG will invest in its international tax team recruiting from and seconding to the international network and enhancing productivity by increasing the skills of its current professionals as well as off-shoring more routine lower value work.
According to Mr Pek Hak Bin who heads the Energy & Natural Resources practice for KPMG in Singapore, the energy trading COE will contribute to the development of Singapore as a one-stop advisory hub for global companies in energy trading.
He said: "We will build a dedicated team focusing on emerging areas in gas/LNG, electricity futures and commodities. We will also seek to develop effective bilateral corridors in key energy markets such as Japan, Korea, China, India, Indonesia, Australia and other Asian countries. Closer collaboration with key players in the trading sector will attract more traders into Singapore."
Together with the six existing COEs established in 2011, the new COEs will expand KPMG’s service offerings, granting clients access to a wealth of specialist knowledge and expertise from a single point of contact.
KPMG’s six existing COEs focus on tax, management consulting, energy and natural resources, financial services, government and infrastructure, as well as healthcare.