Founded in 1899, CSC Global Financial Markets provides corporate trust and agency, special purpose vehicles management, fund administration and global expansion services to 10,000 law firms, 3,000 financial institutions and 90 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies worldwide.
The Asia–Pacific (APAC) division is only eight years old, but Managing Director Agnes Chen is at the helm of its expansion into the region. “CSC has a great heritage being more than a century old,” Agnes says. “The APAC business has been in the space for about eight years now, so it’s relatively young compared to the group itself. It is becoming a more important region for the company, but also across the world APAC is becoming more focused in terms of growth model and opportunities.”
CSC is focusing on dynamic growth both globally and in the APAC region in the next five years. “We’re looking at an extension of our suite of services globally,” Agnes says. “There will be new legislation that provides more innovative structure and opportunities. We’re tapping into this to be agile and dynamic in terms of what we do to fit into the future of APAC.”
People are the key resource in a service business, so a lot of our focus is on the expertise of our people.
The company plans to invest in three key areas to drive its expansion. “One of the main areas is talent,” she says. “People are the key resource in a service business, so a lot of our focus is on the expertise of our people. We’ll also heavily invest in technology in the next few years and tap into our group’s strength in this area. There’s a lot of foresight in our management to pre-adopt technology and roll it out. APAC is very paper-based, but CSC moved forward in that respect even before COVID-19 hit. We’ll also continue to focus on client servicing and the value we provide to our clients – that’s our key strength.”
The global CSC group’s wealth of expertise in corporate services will serve the APAC division well. “We’ll tap into the heritage of our company and its strength in terms of business culture to stay a step ahead of our competitors,” she says. “We’ll bring our expertise to our clients and make sure that their operations are as efficient as possible and compliant in the market. We’ll look to close any gaps that we can to provide our clients with a holistic structure and support.”
With numerous international CSC clients having their sights set on APAC, Agnes has her work cut out for her. “We have multinational companies looking at Asia in terms of expansion and large investment managers looking to invest in APAC for their clients,” she says. “There are also companies looking to tap into fundings and investments.”
CSC’s global team of corporate and fund services experts, along with the expertise of legal and advisory client counsels, allow the company to cover every aspect of a given transaction.
“If a multinational corporation would like to set up its new headquarters in Singapore, there are many legal perspectives to consider,” Agnes says. “What’s the best structure in terms of making it work and being optimised? At the same time, they may be concerned about how to structure in terms of tax implications. They want to be 100 per cent sure that they’re fulfilling any requirements. We can help them with all these aspects.
We have multinational companies looking at Asia in terms of expansion and large investment managers looking to invest in APAC for their clients.
“A fund manager with an investment fund may come to us to incorporate the structure, but they may also require the fund documents to be drafted. We then bring in our expert partners to draft these documents. We can provide different types of expertise as the client requires.”
Agnes believes agility will be the key to CSC APAC’s success in the next five years and into the future. “Because a lot of what we do is dependent on government statutory requirements, being agile means looking at everything that needs to happen for the client and thinking quickly on our feet to make it happen while also making sure the client is being compliant,” she says.
Born and bred in Singapore, Agnes knows the market well and is up to the task of bringing CSC APAC to the next level. “I’m a person who fits into the plan very quickly and I adapt really quickly as well,” she says. “I go with the flow and I think it’s important to keep an open mind. The pandemic has taught us a lot about flexibility in the last two-and-a-half years. As we open up to the world right now, we need to take what we have learnt and rethink our plans.”