Leadership-in-Action Conversation with Mr Sherman Kwek & LinkedIn Workshop

Date: 10 January 2020, Friday

The Council for Board Diversity jointly organised an event with LinkedIn Singapore. It comprised a Leadership-in-Action Conversation with Sherman Kwek, Group CEO, City Developments Limited and was moderated by Janet Ang, Former Vice-President, Industry Solutions and Smarter Cities, IBM Asia-Pacific on ‘Traits of a Successful Board Director  – a CEO’s perspective.”

Sherman shared that there are ‘4C’s of being a successful board director:

Courageous: Don’t be afraid to voice your views and avoid groupthink, but be tactful at all times.

Curious: Be willing to learn and be prepared to ask questions in order to bring about a higher level of discussion.

Comprehensive: Do your homework and review board materials in advance. Ask concise questions to ensure a sound decision-making rationale.

Calm: Take a moment to recalibrate your response when emotions run high. Take things offline if necessary.

The ‘4Cs’, together with other helpful advice from Sherman Kwek, Janet Ang, and other experienced directors, have been consolidated into an infographic aimed at helping aspiring board directors prepare for their board roles.

With the guidance of helpful LinkedIn account managers, attendees had hands-on experience learning to leverage on LinkedIn’s numerous features such as sharing media on their profiles, curating personal posts, and joining the broader conversation on global or local topics of interest to them. This equipped attendees with the tools to improve their digital footprint and enhance their online presence.



Sherman Kwek, Group Chief Executive Officer, City Developments Limited, is a member of the Council for Board Diversity. He was previously Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer of CDL. He has been spearheading the Group’s expansion in China, Japan and Australia for almost a decade and recently, he also broadened the Group’s presence in the UK by acquiring two prime office assets there. Prior to joining CDL, he was the CEO of Hong Kong-listed City e-Solutions Limited, the Chief Operating Officer of Singapore-listed Thakral Corporation Ltd and a Director of RECAP Investments Limited, a real estate private equity fund.

He is serving on the Council of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Singapore Business Federation Young Business Leaders Network. He was also a member of the Diversity Action Committee (2017 – 2018).


Janet Ang, Former Vice-President, Industry Solutions and Smarter Cities, IBM Asia Pacific, is a member of the Council for Board Diversity. Ms Janet Ang was responsible for leading IBM’s industry value creation for Asia Pacific clients across key industries and leads the charge for helping cities become smarter cognitive cities. She is a Member of the IBM Industry Academy. She had also worked in Tokyo and Beijing.

She is an independent director of Singapore Press Holdings and the Immediate Past President of the International Women’s Forum (Singapore). She serves as Chair of the NUS Institute of Systems Science, SISTIC Singapore, and the Singapore Business Federation Digitalisation Committee. Janet is a member of the NUS Alumni Advisory Board and was a member of the Diversity Action Committee (2017 – 2018).

Janet was awarded the NUS Business School Eminent Alumni Award in 2014, NUS Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2015, and the Singapore Computer Society IT Leaders Award 2018 – Hall of Fame.


The Council for Board Diversity (CBD) is a 20-member Council comprising corporate leaders and professionals from the business, people and public sectors, formed to address the under-representation of women on boards of listed companies, statutory boards, and Institutions of a Public Character in Singapore. Mr Loh Boon Chye, CEO of SGX, and Mrs Mildred Tan, Chairman of National Volunteer Philanthropy Centre, are the current Co-Chairs.

CBD succeeds the Diversity Action Committee (“DAC”) which focused on increasing women’s participation on corporate boards. CBD aims to sustain DAC’s momentum by expanding its efforts into the people and public sectors during its two-year term from January 2019 to December 2020. For more information about CBD, visit www.councilforboarddiversity.sg.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Its vision is to create economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce. Its mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. For more information on LinkedIn, please visit sg.linkedin.com.