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WMI and UBS launch new program to deepen Anti-Money Laundering competencies

Singapore Media Releases APAC


The Wealth Management Institute (WMI) and UBS are pleased to announce they have signed an agreement to launch a new initiative, the WMI Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Risk Management Program. The program, which is sponsored by UBS, aims to deepen AML competencies in the wealth management industry to combat financial crime and reinforce Singapore's status as a financial centre which adheres to the highest standard. The UBS sponsorship for the program of work is for a period of three years.

Under this program, WMI will create technology enhanced learning (TEL) modules on AML and Countering of Terrorism Financing (CFT) topics. To be accredited by the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) under the IBF Standards, the training will take into account the specific AML/CFT issues faced by the wealth management industry as well as Singapore’s role as an international financial centre that operates in Asia. The TEL modules will be made available to all industry participants such as private bankers and compliance and audit professionals in the wealth management sector. On completion, the training may be counted towards the Client Advisory Competency Standards Continuing Professional Development hours.

Aside from training, the program will commission research papers relevant to tackling AML/CFT risks faced by wealth managers, as well as develop case studies. The research papers and case studies will be featured in a Knowledge Centre microsite alongside AML typologies, best practice guides and carefully curated AML/CFT materials such as thought leadership articles, interviews and videos, book recommendations etc.

In addition, the program will create forums for senior compliance decision makers, featuring international AML thought leaders. The aim is to share global best practices and facilitate local adoption and adaptation of such proven approaches in combatting AML/CFT. To provide strategic inputs on the program’s design and desired outcomes, WMI has formed an Expert Panel of international specialists with deep AML expertise in relation to the financial sectors of Singapore, Switzerland, US, UK and Australia. The Expert Panel is chaired by Jonathan Shih, Head Compliance and Operational Risk Control, UBS Wealth Management, and Global Head Financial Crime. The other expert panellists include:

  • David James, HMRC Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer, British High Commission, Singapore
  • Ian Wong, Deputy Director Financial Investigation, Commercial Affairs Department
  • Jon Page, Head of Business Consulting, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
  • Larry Lam, Managing Director, McGuire Asia
  • Lem Chin Kok, Head of Forensic, KPMG Singapore

The program is supported by The Association of Banks in Singapore and IBF, and is also aligned to the expectations of the Monetary Authority of Singapore for the financial industry to deepen competencies in AML risk management.

Edmund Koh, Head UBS Wealth Management Asia Pacific, said, "Singapore's financial center is built on a bedrock of trust and integrity. Detecting and preventing sophisticated international financial crimes is becoming increasingly complex and challenging. In our efforts to fortify Singapore's status as a financial center which adheres to the highest standard, UBS is pleased to partner with WMI to launch the WMI Anti-Money Laundering Risk Management Program which has been carefully curated to further deepen expertise and skills for the benefit of the entire wealth management industry in Singapore."

Foo Mee Har, CEO of WMI, said, "We thank UBS for their sponsorship to create this new AML program that focuses on money laundering and terrorist financing risks faced by wealth managers. The program aims to deepen competencies and strengthen understanding of emerging money laundering risks and typologies. Through enhanced training, new insights informed by research, and exchange of ideas and international best practices, WMI looks forward to building a strong pipeline of expertise to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. We must develop the necessary defence systems and ever more sophisticated tools to detect money laundering activities, and uphold Singapore's reputation as the world’s undisputed clean and trusted international financial centre."

UBS Group AG

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Wealth Management Institute (WMI)

Established in 2003 with the support of Temasek and GIC, Wealth Management Institute (WMI) is Asia’s centre of excellence for wealth management education. Its comprehensive suite of wealth management programs has been specially curated to deepen the skills and expertise of wealth managers.

WMI has trained over 14,500 finance professionals from over 100 financial institutions across 23 countries. WMI combines academic rigour with a practical focus to offer best-in-class wealth management training taught by a faculty of distinguished industry practitioners, thought leaders and academics. WMI was awarded the Institute of Banking & Finance Inspiring Educator Award in 2012, and its Master of Science in Wealth Management, in partnership with Singapore Management University has been ranked first in Asia and third in the world by Financial Times in its 2016 Masters in Finance post-experience rankings.

Client Advisor Competency Standards (CACS) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours

The Client Advisor Competency Standards (“CACS”) Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) requirement took effect on 1 March 2013. Under the Private Banking Code of Conduct (“PB Code”), Covered Persons are expected to fulfil annual CPD requirements after passing the CACS Assessment.

The CACS CPD requirement ensures that Covered Entities and their Covered Persons providing financial advisory services to High-Net-Worth Individuals ("HNWIs") conduct their business activities with integrity and professionalism, having possessed a requisite level of competence and knowledge. It is also a critical component of the on-going competency of Covered Persons as it ensures that knowledge and skills are kept current with industry and regulatory developments.

Media contact

Julie Yeo

(t) +65 6495 5332

(m) +65 9673 4433


Stacey Phillips

(t) +65 6495 2306

(m) +65 9668 2026