Global Head, Citi Private Bank
October 9, 2020Posted InCiti
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Our quest for a great regeneration of the economy and society after COVID-19 may depend more on entrepreneurs than upon anyone else.
Having survived almost ten months of the worst pandemic in memory, we owe enormous gratitude to a great many people. Chief among them, of course, are the medical professionals, researchers and key workers who have helped us endure this crisis. We should also feel grateful, though, to the world’s entrepreneurs. Advances in treating the virus, the unprecedented experiment in remote working and our ability to shop from home have sustained livelihoods and life itself amid these turbulent times. All of these things – and more besides – stemmed from feats of entrepreneurship.
The world’s reliance upon entrepreneurs will be none the lesser once COVID-19 is defeated. Indeed, our quest for a great regeneration of the economy and society depends more, perhaps, on such individuals than upon anyone else. Renewed growth, the many millions of new jobs we so sorely need, and a shift to more sustainable ways of living and working will require entrepreneurial creativity and risk-taking if they are to become realities.
At the Private Bank, we are fortunate enough to hear accounts of inspiring entrepreneurship every single day. And it is our privilege to be able to share some of these stories more widely. In that spirit, I am delighted to present to you the latest of our Global Citizen films.
Looking at the Singaporean healthcare market a decade ago, Dr Michael Tan and Dr Daniel Chan realized that there had to be a better way of doing things. They saw that patients were paying ever more for services, while inefficiency was commonplace. The company they created in response – Fullerton Health – did not get off to an easy start. But Michael and Daniel refused to give up. Just a few years later, their medical centers receive 12 million patient visits a year across nine countries. Innovative flair and gritty determination were clearly critical to their success. There was more to it than that, however. As Michael puts it, “When we started the business, it was really from youthful idealism. We wanted to make a difference in the world.”
Serving entrepreneurs as they make a difference is something of which we at the Private Bank are very proud. One of the ways we do this is by anticipating the trends that are most likely to shape the future. The growing strains in US-China relations – particularly over technology – is a prime example. Indeed, this may represent the biggest global shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall, as David Bailin explains in our latest Living Beyond Borders podcast with GZERO Media. The implications for nations and entrepreneurs alike could be far-reaching.
Intensifying economic and geopolitical rivalry between the two superpowers seems likely irrespective of the result of next month’s US presidential elections. That said, the way that the US conducts its strategy may well differ according to the outcome. The next installment of our Autumn Dialogues program will thus focus upon this highly unpredictable contest. Ian Bremmer, President and Founder of Eurasia Group, and Candi Wolff, Citi’s Head of Global Government Affairs, will be giving their insights into the latest developments and the longer-term impacts. I warmly invite you to join us for this most topical session on Wednesday 14 October.
Robust preparations are a common feature of almost all successful entrepreneurial ventures. Likewise, we advise entrepreneurs and others to prepare their children as early as possible for their future responsibilities. To assist in this, Stephen Campbell – Chairman of our Private Capital Group – recently set out some of the best practices of families who have overcome this challenge for many generations. Such preparations are not only beneficial for families but for society as a whole. A sixth-generation inheritor whom we interviewed encapsulated this perfectly:
“We didn’t create our wealth, we are stewards of it. Our obligation is to leave the world a much better place through our individual and collective actions.”
I wish you and your loved ones good health, and hope that those of you here in the US enjoy the autumnal delights of this holiday weekend