Elizabeth Sam

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Elizabeth Sam
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Occupation Financial Services, Retired
Location Singapore

Elizabeth Sam is one of Singapore's best-known female bankers. She became the first female board member of a big four bank in 1996 when she was appointed to the main board of the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).[1]

In 2023, Sam was inducted into the Futures Industry Association's Futures Hall of Fame, which was established in 2005 to commemorate outstanding contributions to the global futures and options community. [2]

Background[edit]

Sam began her over 40-year career in financial services in the public sector, playing a key role in the growth of Singapore as a global financial center.

She joined the Ministry of Finance in 1962, and held the positions of deputy secretary in the Economics Development Division, deputy controller of Foreign Exchange and director of Overseas Investment. In 1971, she moved to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). By 1976, she was promoted to chief manager.

While serving at the Ministry of Finance and MAS, she focused on the Asian dollar and foreign exchange markets. She also played a key role in the development of the futures market and served two terms as chairman of the Singapore International Monetary Exchange. She left MAS in 1981.

From 1981 to 1987, Sam was a main board member of Mercantile House Holding PLC. Then in 1988, she joined the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) as executive vice president. She was subsequently appointed to its main board in October 1996.

Also in 1996, Sam was awarded the Public Service Star (BBM), Republic of Singapore, for her contributions to the nation's financial developments.[3] In 1997, she was Her World magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”

In 2008, Sam was appointed a non-executive and independent director of Straits Trading, a Singapore-based company with interests in resources, property and hospitality. [4]

In 2014, she was inducted into the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame. [5]

In 2016, Sam retired from her board position with Straits Trading.[6] She subsequently took up ballroom dancing and regularly participates in ballroom dance competitions.

Education[edit]

Sam obtained a Bachelor of Arts in economics (honours) from the University of Singapore.

References[edit]

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