Singapore Corporate Awards honours J Y Pillay, Keppel group snags top prizes

File photo of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, guest of honour at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2014 held at the Resorts World Convention Centre.
File photo of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, guest of honour at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2014 held at the Resorts World Convention Centre.PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The Keppel group starred at the Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA) on Wednesday night, snagging four awards in three categories. 

The conglomerate clearly dominated the categories reserved for large firms at at the awards dinner at Resorts World Convention Centre, while specially chemicals distributor Megachem made its mark among smaller companies.

President Tony Tan Keng Yam was among the guests to see Keppel Corp score the plum prize of best managed board in the large-cap category, which is for companies with a market value of S$1 billion or more.

The best investor relations category saw Keppel Reit take home the gold for Reits (real estate investment trusts) and business trusts while Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation landed silver in the mid-cap category. Keppel Land completed the haul, scooping bronze in the large-cap best annual report field.

Keppel Corp chairman Lee Boon Yang said in a statement after the event: “We are encouraged by the recognition accorded to Keppel companies. In particular, we especially value the Gold Award for the best managed board.”

Megachem enjoyed its turn in the spotlight, picking up gold for best managed board, silver for best annual report, bronze for best investor relations, and a best chief financial officer accolade in the small-cap category. This category is for companies with a market value below $300 million. 

The annual awards, which are organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and The Business Times, honoured six individuals and 33 companies overall. They recognise listed companies for excellence in the values of corporate governance and shareholder communication.

Mr David Lim, the chief executive of SCA sponsor Bank Julius Baer, said in a statement: “Having a well-balanced and inclusive approach to corporate governance should be at the heart of every well-managed board, and form the backbone of every company’s drive to succeed in this constantly evolving global business ecosystem.” 

The SCA marked its 10th anniversary by presenting a special distinguished contribution to corporate governance award to Mr J Y Pillay, chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers.

With a long-serving career of leadership in both the civil service and the private sector, Mr Pillay was described by SID chairman Willie Cheng as “head and shoulders above all other candidates for this very special award”.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Pillay offered the audience this advice: “By no means does observation of the principles and practices of governance spontaneously lead to good performance. Quality of the people is the crucial ingredient…”

The best chief executive awards went to Singapore Post’s Dr Wolfgang Baier for a large-cap company, Dr Ng Chin Siau of mid-cap Q&M Dental Group and Mr Kuah Boon Wee of small-cap MTQ Corporation. Best CFO gongs went to Mr Arthur Lang of large-cap CapitaLand, Mr Chan Chee Kin of mid-cap Midas Holdings and Mr Francis Yau of small-cap Megachem.

DBS Group Holdings walked away with the best investor relations gold in the large-cap category and Singapore Technologies Engineering won the large-cap gold for best annual report.

leowhma@sph.com.sg