Celebrating good governance at the Singapore Corporate Awards

SINGAPORE - LEADING lights of the local corporate governance scene were honoured at the 13th annual Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA) on Wednesday (July 18), in a black-tie event dubbed the "Oscars" of the Singapore business world.

This year, the ceremony - held at Resorts World Convention Centre - honoured 34 companies and six individuals for their excellence in corporate governance and shareholder communication.

The biggest winners for the night were property groups CapitaLand, which swept four awards, and Tuan Sing, which bagged three. Meanwhile, Centurion Corporation, Frasers group, SATS and Japan Foods garnered two awards each.

For its "all-round excellence in corporate governance", DBS Group was conferred the Special Recognition Award, which is now in its third year. DBS is the first company to have won in each of the five sets of awards from 2013 to 2017. The awards include the Best Managed Board, Best Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Best Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Best Investor Relations, and Best Annual Report.

"DBS has an active board that is conscious of the diverse needs of our stakeholders, and has put in place robust mechanisms to ensure that corporate governance principles are embedded in our corporate culture. As we celebrate our golden jubilee this year, this award inspires us to continue to reimagine banking, and do even better for our customers, employees and stakeholders," said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta in a press statement on Wednesday.

CapitaLand paved the way for corporate winners, clinching a silver for the Best Managed Board in the large-cap category, meant for companies with a market cap of S$1 billion or more. CapitaLand Mall Trust Management (CMT) scooped two awards, attaining silver for both Best Investor Relations and Best Annual Report. Completing the group's haul was CapitaLand Commercial Trust Management (CCT) with a gold for Best Annual Report. Awards for both CMT and CCT were under the REITS (real estate investment trusts) and business trusts category.

Separately, Tuan Sing won two bronze awards for Best Managed Board and Best Investor Relations under the mid-cap category, meant for companies with a market cap of S$300 million or more, but less than S$1 billion. Tuan Sing's CFO Chong Chou Yuen also won the best CFO under the mid-cap group of companies.

Speaking at the SCA, Guest-of-Honour and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng said: "As a nation, our answer is clear. We must and will take them (transformations and disruptions) by the horns and adapt, change, innovate and transform to stay ahead of our competition. In our disrupted world, our companies must be nimble and adaptable to transform and meet changing market demands."

Among the large-cap conglomerates, SATS clinched a gold for the Best Managed Board, with its chief executive Alexander Hungate garnering best CEO. Similarly given the best CEO awards were Melvin Teo Tzai Win from mid-cap Yeo Hiap Seng, and Christopher Reid Borch from small-cap Micro-Mechanics (Holdings).

Accolades for Best CFO also went to Lim Cheng Cheng of large-cap Singapore Telecommunications, Chong Chou Yuen of mid-cap Tuan Sing, and Kenneth Liew Kian Er of small-cap Japan Foods Holding.

The SCA was organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants, the Singapore Institute of Directors and The Business Times, with the support of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, and the Singapore Exchange.