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Jennifer Tay is PwC Singapore’s infrastructure leader and she has worked close to 20 years in the infrastructure sector. She spent half of her career working on the client side in M&A, capital markets and financial/strategic planning. The other half of her career as an advisor in PwC and as a Partner of the firm.
I have always been interested in strategy, finance and business. When I was going to university, I pursued Business as a degree and majored in finance. A career in deals enabled me to continue my passion in these areas. I started my career with a Singapore Temasek owned company, Singapore Power Ltd. I was on the company's scholarship. On my first assignment, I was asked to project manage a US$6B global bond issuance for the company. That was the beginning of a long career in deals and infrastructure.
I am a Deals Partner and the Infrastructure Leader at PwC Singapore. I lead engagements in greenfield and brownfield transactions involving infrastructure projects. Our role ranges from initial feasibility studies, financial modelling, M&A to capital raising. We work with governments, multilateral organisations and private sector clients. These days we are involved in many transactions in the energy transition phase in the region which is very exciting.
I love seeing things being built. In the infrastructure space, you frequently see projects that you are involved in coming alive and put into use. They truly change people's lives. One of the first mega projects I was involved in was the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge. I was the manager on the job, and we advised the Project Management Office which represented the China, Hong Kong and Macau government in 2009. When it was finally built and commissioned, I was so proud to drive along it. I was also involved in water and power projects in emerging markets. These projects change and improve the quality of life of the population.
Yes. My role model was my first boss on my first job in Singapore Power. She mentored me and showed me how woman can be leaders in our fields. She went on to become the youngest person to ever become a CFO in a listed company in Singapore and later also the Group CFO of the company with the largest market capitalisation in Singapore.
It is important to remember that a career in deals is not a bed of roses. It is exciting and interesting, but it comes with a lot of hard work, and you will need a lot of grit. As a woman, we are way better at multi-tasking as men so don't underestimate your ability to manage life and work.
Attitude is more important than aptitude. I believe that skills can be taught to people with the right attitude. However, attitude is not something that can be taught. I always hire for attitude.
I think having the right role model and mentor is very important. He/she will help to shape your attitude towards work, colleagues and organisation.
The highlights of my career have to be watching people in my team grow in their career. I love the impact I have on everyone I worked with especially young women. There are other project highlights as well including the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge transaction, closing the largest floating solar deal in the region etc.
Being in deals and in the infrastructure sector is a "double whammy". Both are professions that are dominated by men.
You always stand out in the crowd, and you always surprise people when you step into the room.
Director, Global Programme Director for Edge, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 02890 245454