JP Morgan appoints new senior country officer for Singapore

Wai Mei Hong will lead the bank’s strategy in the city-state.

Wai Mei Hong will succeed Edmund Lee as senior country officer (SCO) for Singapore from October 01, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia. A spokesperson for the bank corroborated the news.

Hong (pictured) first joined JP Morgan in 2007 and has over 25 years of banking experience in total. Having held a variety of roles across business units and functions, she currently leads the corporate banking team’s activity across the six ASEAN markets in Southeast Asia where JP Morgan actively operates, the spokesperson told FA.

The note confirmed that Hong will continue with her current role, reporting to Oliver Brinkmann, head of Global Corporate Banking for APAC.

The remit of Hong's additional SCO post will centre around facilitating client engagement across the breadth of the bank’s functions in the city-state; liaising with government agencies and regulators to drive local governance and controls; ensuring strong coordination across business lines; and offering support to the bank’s employees and the broader community. In her market-focussed capacity, she will report to Sudhir Goel, head of Sales and Marketing for the bank’s Markets & Services effort across Asia Pacific.

Hong’s appointment follows Lee’s decision to step down from nine years of service in the role, which he communicated earlier this year, the note detailed.

Lee will remain with the bank in the role of vice chair of Asia Pacific, which will see him work to strengthen its relationships with external stakeholders. For this new post, he will report to Hong Kong-based Filippo Gori, CEO for Asia Pacific.

With a 3,500-strong presence in Singapore that dates back to 1964, the spokesperson emphasised to FA the significance of the market’s contribution to Asia’s regional financial activity. Forming the bank’s headquarters for Southeast Asia, Singapore additionally constitutes JP Morgan’s Asia Pacific hub for FX and commodities, and the bank’s global tech nucleus.

“The bank houses one of four Global Incident Command Centres at our Singapore Corporate Centre that monitors and resolves technology issues for clients around the world,” the contact told FA, adding that the Singapore base is home to one of three global Cybersecurity Operations Centres that provide the bank with 24-hour defence against cyber threats.

Widely considered to be Asia’s regional fintech centre, the city-state, through the support of its central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), has been home to numerous pioneering regional digital initiatives that interrogate and explore the future of finance – several of which have involved participation from global players, including the New York-headquartered bank.

“The bank has been the key partner for the development of the blockchain infrastructure via MAS’ Project Ubin since 2016, which is currently being commercialised under the Partior joint venture launched in 2021 between JP Morgan, DBS and Temasek,” the spokesperson said.

More recently, MAS launched Project Guardian, a collaborative initiative with the financial industry that seeks to explore the economic potential and value-add use cases of asset tokenisation. JP Morgan is one of several participants involved in the project.

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