By Felda Chay
IT is the most unlikely place for a training ground of finance professionals - a sprawling 500,000 sq ft estate on Kheam Hock Road, with a colonial house perched atop a hill overlooking rolling green fields and tall leafy trees. Built in the 1930s, the Command House boasts features such as side wings that are angled forward - as if to embrace and welcome visitors - and a large overhanging roof.
Yet in the last three years, the house - previously home to General Officers commanding Malaya and Singapore and a venue for state functions under former President Ong Teng Cheong - has been serving a vastly different function from what it has been used to. It is now a home to the UBS Business University, where Switzerland's biggest bank trains its employees in Asia. To date, the campus has served as venue to 2,000 training events.
The bank declined to reveal the amount it pays in rent each month for the use of the gazetted national monument, but it's an easy guess that it is no paltry sum. And if money is a measure of one's commitment, then this must show how serious the bank is about training.