IT'S a partnership between one of the world's largest banks and a top business school.
And it benefits Singapore.
According to an agreement signed on Friday, Insead will provide programmes for Deutsche Bank's regional employees.
Insead's Singapore campus will be the meeting point for executives and managerial staff from the bank's 17 Asia-Pacific locations, including Japan, Australia and India.
Their tie-up is a boost to Singapore's status as both an education hub and a financial centre.
S'PORE IS KEY LOCATION
Mr Ronny Tan, chief country officer for Deutsche Bank here, explained that Singapore was an obvious choice.
'Insead and Deutsche Bank are recognised global leaders in their respective fields,' he said.
'Given their significant presence in Singapore, the tie-up is only natural.'
At the launch of the Deutsche Knowledge Institute at Insead's Ayer Rajah campus, Ms Rachel Blanshard, the bank's Asia-Pacific head of human resources, said: 'Singapore is a key location for us... Five of the bank's six business headquarters sit in Singapore.'
In the Asia-Pacific region, she said, the bank has more than 15,000 employees in 45 offices.
'It's not just about winning the deals,' said Ms Blanshard.
'The important thing is how to execute and run those deals efficiently for the client.
'And that comes back to the people we hire and retain.'
The partnership began with a leadership programme for more than 140 bank officers who flew in from 14 countries.
By the end of this year, as many as 400 leaders and high-potential staff are expected to be trained here.
Insead's dean of faculty, Professor Anil Gaba, said: 'Since the opening of our campus in Singapore, growth has been beyond our expectations.'
It was in 2000 that Insead opened in Singapore, its second full-fledged campus in addition to the one in Fontainebleau, France.
Prof Gaba said: 'Before we came to Asia, the proportion of Asians (among students) was only 7 per cent. It's now almost 25 per cent.'
Singaporeans make up some 3 per cent of total enrolment of about 900.
Insead also works with companies such as Microsoft, IBM and Shell, to offer programmes for their staff.
The partnership with Deutsche Bank, said Prof Gaba, goes beyond providing a single, customised programme.
And it is also not about imparting off-the-shelf solutions from books.
'It's about going into the issues facing Deutsche Bank and bringing our perspective to them.'
And what will Insead gain?
'We will get access to lots of contextual knowledge which we cannot otherwise,' said Prof Gaba.
'We'll get to know what people think, what problems they face, what they think about before they go to bed, what keeps them up at night and how they deal with it. They provide us with avenues for research that's embedded in the real world.'
As for the bank, said Mr Gyan Nagpal, regional head of development for Asia-Pacific: 'It's about building talent pools to enable our strategies to become reality.'
This article was first published in The New Paper on Mar 3, 2008