What are your responsibilities at Pictet?
As Head of the Pictet Asset Management office in Singapore, I oversee Pictet AM’s activities in Singapore – primarily fund management, trading and operations – and am the main local contact with institutional clients, regulators, authorities and suppliers.
How did you manage to adapt to current circumstances?
Working from home is a big adjustment for most people. Many colleagues in Singapore (a very space-constrained city) don't have a dedicated study room and have had to be creative about defining workspaces while juggling the needs of other family members.
What were the phases you encountered throughout confinement?
At the start I definitely had overly high expectations, hoping that working from home and caring for my children would happily co-exist. The reality has been much more chaotic! Several weeks in, I have adjusted my expectations and am a bit calmer about the different roles I have to play. Hopefully things will be smoother from here on.
Are you witnessing any impact on your team?
I think it's very easy to feel isolated when working from home. Due to the work of our Tech & Ops colleagues, functionality is good but we still don’t have an optimal level of interaction between colleagues. I believe that’s the biggest challenge: while we can operate, there's less creative thinking and new idea generation. On the other hand, a lot of colleagues have remarked that they enjoy the additional time with their families.
Any anecdote you could share with us?
In Singapore the confinement measures have been consistently applied, so both asset managers as well as their clients are working from home. Pictet Asset Management has produced a lot of thought leadership pieces, client webinars, and regular updates and clients have expressed to us that they appreciate the frequency and quality of our updates.
What do you look most forward to in the “new normal”?
More family time and less consumerism.
What impact do you see for Pictet? For the working world?
There are companies that will endure and I firmly believe that Pictet is one of them. The key is to focus on our areas of expertise, abide by the right long-term principles and ignore all the noise. In the wider economy I expect that there will be a significant number of closures and a wave of consolidation.