FWA Male Champions

The Financial Women’s Association of Singapore is a champion of gender diversity & inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. We engage individuals and organisations to recognize the contribution women have been making to the economy, the multiple hats women wear as care-givers and workers, and the importance of unbiased, fair and flexible work practices that support the advancement of women in their careers.

As part of our journey of promoting D&I, the objective of FWA’s male champion’s initiative is to engage men: men who understand the demands of work and family that women face and are supportive of their pursuit of success on both fronts.

FWA’s Male Champions were announced on March 2015 at FWA’s annual celebration of International Women’s Day. Our Male Champions are men in senior leadership positions who champion and support women seeking success on both the professional and personal fronts, can effect change in their organisations and be firm supporters of gender D&I in their workplaces and society at large.

Our Male Champions commit to the following:

  • To support and promote gender diversity in their workplace through events in partnership with FWA e.g. lunchtime talks and networking events. This could be by way of being a host, a speaker, a guest and engaging with our members at such events
  • To provide voluntary mentorship via the FWA mentoring program
  • To consider corporate sponsorship of FWA activities that promote gender diversity and the development of female talent


We are honoured and delighted to have the following accomplished men share our journey of continuous engagement and empowerment of women in achieving greater success in the workplace and in their personal lives. Your support, guidance and mentorship is very appreciated as we continue to engage greater numbers of men to support FWA’s work and mission.



Managing Director
Chief Financial Officer, Asia Pacific

Bal is the Chief Financial Officer for Barclays Asia Pacific.  He is a Managing Director based in Singapore and a member of the Barclays Asia Pacific Executive Committee.

Bal joined Barclays in 2005 as Head of Financial Control for South East Asia moving on to become the Head of Financial Control for Asia Pacific in 2008.  In this role, he was instrumental in the build out of Barclays’ India and Singapore global finance centres and in the development of the Financial and Regulatory Reporting teams across Asia Pacific. 

He has worked in Investment Banking for the majority of his career and has over 20 years of experience in the industry, having previously held positions at Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan, covering a variety of Finance-related roles.  Bal has worked outside the UK since 2000 and, during his career, has lived in London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Prague.  He sits on the Board of Directors for a number of Barclays subsidiaries incorporated in the UK and across the Asia Pacific region.

Bal graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Law from the University of Southampton, trained as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants in the UK and a Member of the Institute of Directors (UK).  He sits on the Banking and Finance Committee of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and the Board of Directors of Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association. Bal is also a member of Singapore Management University’s School of Accountancy Advisory Board and is a Male Champion for the Financial Women’s Association of Singapore. 



Director and Head of Operations APAC
IHS Markit

Jamie Bennett is a Director and Head of Operations APAC for Markit Processing, the most widely used electronic trade processing service for OTC derivative transactions in Asia. His responsibilities span client services, onboarding and custom processing activities across APAC and India.

Jamie joined Markit in Singapore in 2015 from Spark Digital New Zealand, where he held various management and operational roles in service delivery, assurance and transition.

Prior to that he was based in London where he started his fintech career with Swapswire and then, following the acquisition of Swapswire by Markit and a subsequent joint venture with the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, MarkitSERV, where he was the Global Head of Production Services until 2013.



Head of Institutional and Corporate Sales, Asia ex-Japan Global Markets

Samir Bhandari is Head of Sales, Asia ex Japan based in Singapore.  He has a total of 26 years experience in Asia in different financial institutions, the last 7 years being in Nomura Singapore.

He previously spent 9 years at JP Morgan based in Singapore as Managing Director, Head of Sales for South East Asia. Prior to that he worked with UBS in Singapore and Bank of America in Hong Kong and India.

He is also the “Brand Ambassador” in Singapore for Magic Bus a charity in India which promotes education of children through sport.

He holds an MBA (PGDM) from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and is a Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.  He is married with two children and lives in Singapore.



Prudential Assurance Company Singapore

Wilf Blackburn assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Prudential Singapore) with effect from 4 October 2016.

Wilf is an industry veteran with close to three decades of diverse experience, having worked in seven countries in Asia.

Wilf joined Prudential in 2012 and led new market initiatives prior to his appointment as CEO of Prudential Vietnam in July 2014. His work included overseeing the launch of Prudential's business operations in Cambodia and the establishment of Prudential’s representative office in Myanmar and Laos.

Prior to joining Prudential, Wilf was with Allianz, during which his roles included Regional GM, Life & Health Insurance for Asia and CEO of their joint venture companies in China, Thailand and the Philippines. Before Allianz, Wilf worked in the United Kingdom for three life insurers and a firm of consulting actuaries.

Wilf, a British national, qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in 1995. He has an MBA from the University of Bath and a BSc (Mathematics - 1st Class Hons.) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (his home town) and has been a postgraduate student at both the City University (now CASS) and Harvard Business School.

Wilf and his wife, Judith, have five children.



Managing Director, Asia Pacific
Franklin Templeton Investments

Mark Browning is the managing director, Asia Pacific for Franklin Templeton Investments. In this position he is responsible for business development and distribution in Asia, including Japan & Australia. He is also a director of Franklin Templeton Investment Trust Management (Korea), Franklin Templeton Investments Asia (Hong Kong), Franklin Templeton Capital Holdings Pte Ltd Singapore, Franklin Templeton Investments Japan Ltd, Franklin Templeton Asset Management (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Franklin Templeton GSC Asset Management Sdn Bhd, Franklin Templeton Investments Australia Limited and Balanced Equity Management Pty Ltd.

Mr. Browning joined Templeton in 1998 as country head of the Singapore sales and marketing operation. In 2001, he took on the additional responsibility for business development in Hong Kong and South Africa. In 2003, Mr. Browning relocated to Hong Kong where he also took on responsibility for overseeing Franklin Templeton's interests in Taiwan. In 2005, Mr. Browning relocated to Seoul to take up the position of CEO and president of Franklin Templeton Investment Trust Management Co Ltd, the group's domestic asset management business, as well as continuing his regional responsibilities. In June 2006, he took on the role of managing director of the Asia Pacific region for Franklin Templeton Investments.

Mr. Browning has over 30 years’ experience in the asset management and financial services industry, initially in Europe before moving to Asia in 1994. He was named “Asia CEO of the Year” in 2010 by Asia Asset Management Journal, a leading industry publication for the region.