Impact of COVID-19: Recovery and Sustainability

14 September 2020 @ 10 am (+8 GMT)

The banking and financial services industry has the opportunity to play an increasingly significant role and be powerful agents of change for the greater good in a post-COVID future by advocating sustainable activities and investments based on ESG principles. In steering the economic turnaround for Malaysia and Southeast Asia, which elements of sustainability have already been embedded in the new normal and what are the others that may emerge?

In this instalment of AICB’s Sustainable Finance Webinar Series with the World Bank and IBFIM, we continue the conversation with

“Impact of COVID-19: Recovery and Sustainability”

where we give you a glimpse into the post-pandemic economic outlook for Malaysia and Southeast Asia, and the challenges and opportunities that abound in the current climate. Listen to the views of industry leaders on the post-COVID-19 environment and its implications for business recovery, sustainability strategies and investment in 2021 and beyond.

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Programme Agenda

10 am Introduction and Housekeeping
Prasad Padmanaban, Chief Executive, AICB
10.05 am Opening remarks
Firas Raad, Country Manager for Malaysia, World Bank
10.10 am Economic outlook and opportunities
What might 2021–2022 look like in economic terms for Malaysia and SE Asia? What elements of sustainability are already embedded in the “new normal” and what other aspects may appear?Speaker: Sadiq Currimbhoy, Head of Sustainability, Regional Head of Macro Research, Maybank Kim Eng
10.15 am Panel discussion
The post-pandemic environment and the implications for business recovery, sustainability and investment.Speakers:

  • Rafiza Ghazali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Cradle Fund
  • Goh Wee Peng, Chief Executive Officer, AmInvest
  • Nurbayu Kasim Chang, Vice President, Head of Enterprise Banking, SME Bank
10.45 am Q&A
Moderated by Prasad Padmanaban, Chief Executive, AICB
11.15 am Closing

Speakers’ Profiles

Firas Raad, Country Manager for Malaysia, World Bank

Firas Raad, a Jordanian National, is the World Bank Country Manager in Malaysia. He was formerly the Country Manager for Kuwait. Firas joined the World Bank in 2002 as a Senior Health Policy Specialist. More recently, he was working in the Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice. He has extensive health policy experience in various countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Prior to 2009, Firas focused on implementing health sector reforms in Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt. He also served as the World Bank Human Development Coordinator for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Between 1997 and 2000, Firas was the Private Secretary for Health Affairs in the Royal Jordanian Court providing health sector reform policy advice. Between 2009 and 2013, Firas took a leave of absence from the World Bank and worked in the Quartet Mission in Jerusalem, first as an Advisor and later as Head of the Mission, to support Palestinian economic development.

His primary research interests are in health equity, health financing and health systems reform. He is a founding member of several regional and international organisations dedicated to peace-building, sustainable development and global health. He has published several articles on public health and development. He has a PhD in International Health Policy and Economics from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Rafiza Ghazali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Cradle Fund

Rafiza Ghazali was appointed as Cradle’s Group CEO on 1 June 2020. She has over 26 years of experience in Finance, Audit, Investment, Strategy and Business Development within a wide range of industries, including Banking, Energy, Plantations, Property, Healthcare, Automative, Industrial, Media/Information and Consumer-Goods. Rafiza brings a wealth of experience in strategy, innovation, finance and business management. She has held leadership roles across both private and public organisations and has successfully implemented programmes ranging from technology-based innovations, corporate-start-up partnerships to organisational transformation and re-structuring.

Prior to Cradle, Rafiza was the Chief Financial Officer at Velesto Energy Berhad (Velesto), a Malaysian-based multi-national player in the upstream oil & gas sector. During her tenure at Velesto, the company undertook a successful turnaround and transformation exercise that led to a return to profitability after four years.

Rafiza was Head of Group Innovation & Business Performance at Sime Darby Berhad (Sime Darby) where she led a group-wide effort to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across the business units, including to encourage start-ups-corporate partnerships. Rafiza started her career at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Australia and later held senior roles in strategy, corporate finance and accounting in several leading organisations, including Bank Negara Malaysia, RHB Investment Bank Berhad and Thomson Reuters.

Rafiza holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science (Economics) from the London School of Economics & Political Science. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Strategy & Innovation from the Säid Business School, University of Oxford.

Sadiq Currimbhoy, Head of Sustainability, Regional Head of Macro Research, Maybank Kim Eng

Sadiq Currimbhoy is Maybank Kim Eng’s Head of Sustainability and Regional Head of Macro Research. Prior to taking on the Sustainability role in summer 2019, he was Regional Head of Research and Global Investment Strategist. He also sits on the Maybank Group Sustainability Council.

He has both buy-side and sell-side experience and has been in financial services since 1995, working in New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. While on the sell-side, he had two periods at what is now Bank of America Merrill Lynch and was ranked by Institutional Investor magazine for Asia Strategy both times. He was also at one-point Global Sector Strategist. In between his Merrill stints, he was Global Strategist on the NewSmith Global Opportunities Fund, a multi-asset hedge fund in London.

Sadiq grew up in Hong Kong, has a BSc (Economics), Honours from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Singapore.

Kevin Wong Weng Tuck, Principal Officer and Chief Investment Officer, AmInvest

Kevin Wong Weng Tuck is the Principal Officer of AmIslamic Funds Management Sdn Bhd (AIFM). His responsibilities include business development and marketing of Islamic funds, managing the Shariah compliance and governance of Funds Management Division’s products, fixed income and equity investments. Kevin is also the Chief Investment Officer of AIFM, overseeing the company’s investments across asset classes, overall investment strategies and portfolio positioning of funds under management. He has over 23 years of experience in the financial services, capital markets and funds management industries, specializing in both fixed income and equity instruments. He joined the Funds Management Division in 2000 and has progressed from an Investment Analyst to a Fund Manager to Research Head. He played key roles in investment research, trading, portfolio management, investment risk management, product development, business development and managing client relationships. His last post was Senior Vice President, Head of Research overseeing a team of 15 research personnel conducting fundamental and relative value analysis on economic, monetary and financial developments, industry sectors, listed and unlisted companies in 18 different markets around the globe – the US, UK, Japan, China/Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Turkey. Kevin graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Capital Markets Services Representative’s License for the regulated activity of funds management.

Moderator: Prasad Padmanaban, Chief Executive, AICB

Prasad joins AICB after a sabbatical of about 1 year to travel and spend time with family. Prior to that, Prasad worked with the investment banks of MUFG in Hong Kong and JP Morgan in both London and Hong Kong as Executive Director in various Markets capacities over a period of 16 years, covering all manner of Asia-ex and Japan securities, from fixed income to equity derivatives. As an accomplished professional in the banking arena, Prasad brings to AICB a great mix of leadership, operational excellence, technical breadth and a passion for learning and development. Prasad holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Finance and Investment and an MA in European Studies from the University of Exeter, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Economics from the University of Nottingham.