Mr Lim Siong Guan has been Group President of GIC since 2007. GIC manages Singapore’s foreign financial reserves. He has served as Head of the Singapore Civil Service, Permanent Secretary in the ministries of Defence, Education and Finance and in the Prime Minister’s Office, and as Chairman of the Economic Development Board and various other government agencies….
Having joined the civil service in 1969 as an engineer, he served two Old Guard Ministers – former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and former Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee – during his 37-year career with the civil service. He has described both leaders as his master teachers.
Citing Dr Goh Keng Swee in particular as his role model for leadership, Mr Lim is a great believer in the need for critical thinking, imagination and courage, as well as the urgency of being in time for the future. Because leadership is about “making good things happen”, he believes that, by definition, leadership must recognise values and principles, and that values form the compass for organisations entering into unknown territory.
Prior to his retirement from the civil service in 2006, he was recognised for his ability to draw out talent and for inspiring younger officers to innovate and excel. Mr Lim has compiled key lessons from his life experiences and his leadership insights into a book titled “The Leader, The Teacher And You: Leadership Through A Third Generation”, which co-won the Singapore Literature Prize for English Non-fiction in 2014. In Apr 2016, he co-authored “Winning With Honour In Relationships, Family, Organisations, Leadership, And Life” with his Joanne. The book argues for the importance of honour in order for one to succeed in life, and comprises 10 parts discussing how honour affects various areas such as relationships and identity.
A frequent speaker on the topic of leadership and change management, Mr Lim is an Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and a Senior Fellow of the Civil Service College. He is also a member of the International Board of the Stars Foundation of Switzerland; a member of the Advisory Panel of SwissRe; and a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Asian Competitiveness Institute.
He is an alumnus of the University of Adelaide, Australia, which he attended on a President’s Scholarship and graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering in 1969. He attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from the National University of Singapore in 1975. He was awarded the Order of Nila Utama (First Class) in 2006.”