Divisional Vice-Chairman for Global Wealth Management, UBS
PJG, PBM, PPA(E), Datuk Paduka Seri
Desmond Kuek is currently the Divisional Vice-Chairman for Global Wealth Management at UBS. Before joining UBS, he was President and Group Chief Executive at SMRT, a leading multi-modal transport operator in Singapore. The public-listed company has interests in operations and maintenance services, engineering and project management, as well as the marketing and leasing of commercial and media spaces within the transport network.
Prior to entering the private sector, Desmond Kuek held key leadership roles in both the military and civil service. He retired from the Singapore Armed Forces in 2010 at the pinnacle appointment of Chief of Defence Force (2007-2010). During the course of his military career, he also held significant appointments as Commander of the 3rd Combined Arms Division (1998-2000), Director of the Joint Intelligence Directorate (2000-2003) and Chief of Army (2003-2007). For his leadership and service, he was awarded the Public Administration Medal-Gold (Military) in 2002 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2009. He also received military honours in recognition of his contributions to building bilateral defence relations, including the Legion of Honour (Commander) from the USA and France, and numerous foreign national awards from Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.
From July 2010 to September 2012, he was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. During his tenure, he co-chaired the Environment and Water Technologies (Clean Water) Executive Committee and the Steering Committee on CleanTech Park; was a Member of the Centre for Strategic Futures Advisory Board and the Advisory Group for Civil Service Governance & Leadership (Human Resource); and led a whole-of-government project to usher in a new wave of public sector transformation. He continues to sit on the Civil Service College Board and chairs its Audit Committee.
Desmond Kuek holds a Master of Arts (Engineering Science) from Oxford University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University; and is an alumnus of Anglo-Chinese School Singapore and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Switzerland.
He held Directorships on the Boards of the Housing Development Board from 2001-2003; International Enterprise Singapore in 2005; Jurong Town Corporation from 2007-2010; Defence Science and Technology Agency from 2007-2010; and Singapore Technologies Engineering and its various subsidiaries over the period from 1994-2010.