Company Spotlight: DBS


Ivy Exec recently interviewed Shaneka McDonald, Vice President, Human Resources at DBS.

DBS, headquartered in Singapore, is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 15 markets.

shaneka mcdonald dbs
Shaneka McDonald, Vice President of Human Resources, DBS

Ivy Exec: In which area of your company do you expect the most growth over the next 12 to 18 months?

Shaneka McDonald: We are building the foundation and developing our multi-national corporate franchise in the US and in the process of building the team up for accelerated growth.  We have experienced tremendous growth over the last 5 years to support the banking needs of large US corporates doing business in Asia. We cover eight (8) major industries and have a wide presence in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Over the next 12 to 36 months, we will continue to expand our support of US corporates in Asia. Because of our financial strength and extensive franchise throughout Asia, there is significant opportunity to increase our penetration of the US corporate market.

IE: What attracts clients to DBS?

SM: DBS employs 22,000 people in 15 markets and is the largest bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia, with a large presence in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and Indonesia. US corporate clients with exposure to these economies are attracted to the breadth and experience we provide – we know Asia better and use our knowledge of how to do business in this region to provide unique Asian insights to support customers’ growth.

IE: What three words best describe your culture?

SM: The three words we use to describe our culture are: energetic, innovative, and purpose-driven.

IE: What are the best perks that employees get at your company?

SM: DBS offers a wide range of perks that we are very proud of because not only do they benefit the individual employee, they also benefit their families. We provide 100% paid medical, dental, and vision benefits to employees and offer coverage to their spouse and family – but it goes farther than that. We also include 5 day paid time off for Marriage leave, and time off to appear at their children’s school (parent/teacher conferences, celebrations, graduation, for example). Additionally, cash bonuses for performance, professional training opportunities, and overseas work opportunities!

IE: Which leadership qualities best ensure success at DBS?

SM: Success from a leadership standpoint at DBS means three things: displaying transformational/participative leadership, strong communication skills (verbal and written), and the ability to solve for complex problems working within a dynamic team environment.

IE: What gets you excited about going to work each day?

SM: Getting to work with our customers, some of the largest Multi-National Corporations and Financial Institutions in the world are always exciting. And when it comes to walking into the DBS office, the opportunities available for personal and professional growth are fantastic. We also have a very diverse workforce within our US franchise; our colleagues come from over 20 different nationalities. The work is always challenging, interesting, and rewarding.

IE: If you had to compare your organization to a car, what type would it be?

SM: Tesla. Early stage of growth, innovative, low market share with significant opportunity.

About the Author

Stephen Carter, Ivy Exec's Director of Business Development, has 17 years of Financial Services experience, and an MBA from the University of Melbourne. He leads business development for Ivy Exec's recruiting services and expert networks.