The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced a new managing director as long-serving Ravi Menon – one of the best-known figures in global public sector fintech – prepares to retire from the city-state’s public service.
Chia Der Jiun, who is currently permanent secretary (development) at Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, will serve as MD designate from 1 November and then MD from 1 January 2024 to 31 May 2026.
Menon – who has spent more than a decade as MD of the fintech-savvy authority and was one of two MAS senior figures to feature in Global Government Fintech’s 23 people to watch in 2023 (an extended feature published in January) – will step down as managing director, as well as from the MAS board, on 31 December, MAS announced this week (4 September). He has spent almost three decades in total with MAS over two stints.
The authority’s announcement makes specific reference to Menon’s leadership in fintech – a major area of interest for Singapore public authorities, as exemplified by its hosting of the Singapore FinTech Festival, a globally renowned annual event whose next edition will run from 15-17 November 2023.
‘Mr Menon played a pivotal role in positioning Singapore as a leading fintech hub,’ MAS states. ‘He steered the growth of Singapore’s electronic payment ecosystem, initiated a regulatory sandbox to promote experimentation, and oversaw the introduction of digital banking licences.’
RELATED ARTICLE Global Government Fintech’s 23 people to watch in 2023 (and why) – Ravi Menon was one of two MAS senior figures on a list we compiled to kick off this year
Chia Der Juin’s return to MAS
Chia is a familiar figure at MAS, having previously worked at the authority for almost two decades. He spent 18 years at MAS in a leadership role across major functions including monetary policy implementation, reserve management, banking supervision, prudential policy and macroeconomic surveillance.
During his first decade at the authority he ‘played a key role in developing and implementing policies to restructure the local banking groups and to liberalise the banking sector’, according to MAS’s announcement.
He was seconded to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011 for two years as executive director for Southeast Asia.
In 2019, he appointed as MAS’s deputy managing director (corporate development), bolstering the operational resilience of Singapore’s national payment systems during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also ‘led the effort to transform MAS’s technology architecture and corporate functions’, MAS states.
Chia was appointed second permanent secretary at the Ministry of Manpower in 2020 and re-designated as permanent secretary (development) in the ministry last year.
RELATED ARTICLE Singapore’s Menon becomes Network for Greening the Financial System chair – our news story (17 January 2022) on Ravi Menon’s appointment as chair of the NGFS
Menon as a ‘driving force’
Menon has been in his current role since 2011 and has spent 29 years in total with MAS. He was re-appointed to the MD role less than four months ago. The announcement (12 May) of his re-appointment said he would ‘serve as managing director until 31 May 2025 or his retirement from the Singapore Public Service, whichever is earlier.’
‘As managing director, Mr Menon has been the driving force behind MAS’s initiatives to make Singapore’s financial sector more resilient, innovative and purposeful,’ the authority states in this week’s announcement, which pays tribute to his work in areas including leading reform of Singapore’s financial regulatory framework after the global financial crisis.
It also acknowledges his leadership in fields including green finance and schemes to accelerate digitalisation and workforce training in the financial sector.
He has also been involved in shaping the international financial regulatory agenda. He is more than 75 per cent of the way through a two-year term as chairman of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), a coalition of more than 125 central banks and financial regulators, and a member of the G20 Financial Stability Board (FSB) steering committee.
Menon began his career at MAS in 1987 and became its assistant MD in 2002. He has also worked at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Finance. He has spent 36 years in total in public service.
The second MAS figure on Global Government Fintech’s ’23 people to watch in 2023’ list was chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.