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Keppel Corporation CEO examines wealth creation

26 November 2012

Mr Choo, Keppel Corporation CEO, speaking on the topic of how to create wealth

The packed auditorium for the IEL speaker series lecture

Human capital, technology research and development (R&D) as well as proprietary designs are the main areas for creating sustainable value. Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corporation Ltd, shared this at the Institute for Engineering Leadership's (IEL) Distinguished Speaker Series lecture on 19 November.

Speaking on the theme of wealth creation from an organisation's viewpoint, Mr Choo told the 250-strong audience that while the average lifespan of a multinational corporation is around 40 years, Keppel Corporation has been creating wealth for 45 years.

He noted that "people is the core value" of Keppel Corporation, a global company with key businesses in offshore, marine, infrastructure and property operations in more than 30 countries. The Economic Value Added performance metric, which allocates reward based on performance, has allowed for the development of employees. Many stay on with the firm to become mentors to new recruits.

Keppel Corporation also places great emphasis on technology R&D. Mr Choo said that the company was able to move from being initially just fabricators to now developing its own technology so as to be able to compete in the global arena. Citing the KFELS B Class Jackup Rig as a successful in-house development, 35 such technologically advanced rigs have been delivered worldwide since 2000, with 19 more units under construction.

When asked about looking for good candidates for the industry in universities, Mr Choo said that if the top 5 per cent of students in Singapore continue to shun the engineering field, it would be a loss to the country and Keppel Corporation.

Other queries posed to Mr Choo during an engaging Question and Answer session included the competition faced by Keppel Corporation and the return on investment made to R&D.