Training Consultants
Professor Dr Bala Shanmugam
Course Director (Accounting & Banking)

Professor Dr Bala Shanmugam is a renowned academic with more than 30 years of teaching experience across Europe, Australia and Malaysia. He is currently holding multiple posts at SEGi University, Malaysia - Director of SEGi-Mimos Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, Director of Islamic Centre for Emerging Technologies, and Professor at their Research & Innovation Management Centre. He served as Chair and Professor of Accounting and Finance at Monash University, Malaysia for ten years. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Sunderland, UK and Adjunct Professor at the Asia e University, Malaysia.

Apart from his academic roles, he has also worked with the Malaysian government, consultancy firms, financial institutions, and private educational institutions in providing consultancy in the areas of banking and finance. He has worked on projects for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, as well as sat on the Boards and Advisory Committees of several institutions. From 2005 to 2007, he was appointed as Director of RHB Bank and Independent Director of RHB Islamic.

His areas of research and interest include Islamic Finance/Insurance, Risk Management, Microfinance, Electronic Banking, AI, Money Laundering, FinTech and Cryptocurrency. To date, he has published almost 200 articles and papers, as well as 45 books, which include his contributions to Capital Markets Research (KLSE), Banker’s Journal Malaysia (BJM), Southeast Asian Review, Journal of Internet Banking & Commerce, Australian Financial Review and Asian Institute of Finance Review. He has been cited in the media many times over the years and have made appearances on Astro Bloomberg News, Media Corporation Radio Singapore and Bernama TV, to name a few.

Prof Bala is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (UK), a Fellow of the International Centre for Asian Studies (ICAS), Senior Associate of the Australian Institute of Bankers (AIB), Associate of the Institute of Asian Studies and a member of the Malaysian Economic Association. He holds a B.A. (Banking, Insurance and Finance) Honours, University of Wales, Bangor, UK; Master of Business Studies (Honours), National University of Ireland, Dublin; and Doctor of Philosophy, University of Wollongong, Australia. He is a certified AIB from the Chartered Institute of Bankers, UK and a Fellow of Certified Practicing Accountants (FCPA), Australia.

Prof Bala is proficient in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Cantonese. His interests include literature, classical music, badminton, squash and jogging.

Dr Lim Guan Chye

Director of Commercial Banking Training

Dr Lim Guan Chye (GC) is the Director of Commercial Banking Training at the Asian Banking School. He has 25 years of experience as a banker with several local and foreign banks in the capacity as Regional Manager and Branch Manager; and is well-versed with credit evaluation/assessment, banking operations, branch management, the legal aspects of banking and behavioural economics. GC is also conversant in training program content design and customization for delivery.

GC also has worked for 10 years in group companies including a public listed company in various senior management capacities such as Finance Director and Group General Manager. He is a life-long learner and is passionate about sharing his experiences in banking and business. He recently published his 2nd book entitled “The Quick Guide Series – About Business & Banking” in January 2021.

He is a Certified Credit Professional awarded by IBBM in 2001 (now known as the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers) and a certified trainer awarded by the Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) and HRDF (now known as HRD Corp).

GC holds a 2nd Upper Honours Degree in Economics from the University of Malaya and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the EU Business School, Geneva in 2019.

GC has obtained Chartered Banker MBA (Merit) from Bangor University, Wales as well as Chartered Banker status from MCBI, Edinburgh in 2023.

GC is an avid golfer, foodie and enjoys travelling.
Cheah Wee Leong
Director of Investment Banking Training

Cheah Wee Leong has more than 25 years’ experience working in the banking industry with local and foreign banks in various roles and capacities. A seasoned professional, Wee Leong brings with him broad experience as a former banker and management consultant.

Wee Leong started his career at Citibank in 1993 before joining US management consultancy firm Accenture in 1997. At Accenture, he was involved in managing large bank merger-integration, process re-engineering and transformation projects. He has worked in projects in various countries including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Mauritius and Saudi Arabia.

In 2003, Wee Leong joined CIMB as its Head of Operational Risk Management and led the implementation of the bank’s operational risk management and Basel 2 – Operational Risk framework. Subsequently, he assumed various senior roles in Trade Finance, Regional Transaction Banking, Corporate Banking, Treasury and Markets division and Group CEO office at CIMB. He was instrumental in helping CIMB win numerous awards in Transaction Banking in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand as Head of Regional Marketing, Regional Transaction Banking from 2011-2014. His last role at CIMB was as Director, Group Strategy.

Wee Leong holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the USA and a Master of Business Administration (with Distinction) from the Anglia Ruskin University, UK. He obtained training from Citibank Asia Pacific Banking Institute in Singapore in 1995. He is a certified Chartered Banker, Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) Certified Training Professional, Certified HRDF Trainer and a holder of the “Certificate in Climate Risk” (awarded by the Chartered Body Alliance) and PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Certificate in Project Management. Wee Leong completed the “Leading the Sustainability in Transformation in Banking” programme with the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (1 week course in Germany) in October 2022.

Wee Leong enjoys reading, jogging, cycling and travelling in his free time and is involved in community service work.

Dr Paramsothy Vijayan
Director of Graduate Training & FSTEP

Dr Vijayan Paramsothy the Director of Graduate Training & FSTEP at the Asian Banking School. He started his career working in one of the big 8 Chartered Accountants and Management Consultancy firms in the UK. He has over 20 years of banking experience working in local and foreign banks up to a senior management level, ranging over a diverse range of disciplines.

He is currently involved in structuring bespoke technical and soft skill programmes for banks. In addition, he is involved in the curriculum working committee for professional qualification programmes such as the Chartered Banker and Bank Risk Management. He is also a designated Chartered Banker trainer, bringing a fresh approach to self-directed learning using mind-mapping techniques, case studies and problem-based learning. Dr Vijay has published banking and finance related text books and journal articles internationally, including, “Success Factors for the Implementation of Entrepreneurial Knowledge Management in Malaysian Banks” (Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, 2013).

Dr Vijay holds an Honours Degree in Accounting and Finance from Scotland, a Master of Science Degree in Multimedia Technology (Banking), a Doctor of Business Administration (Banking Strategy and Marketing) from Australia, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Knowledge Management in Banking) from Malaysia. He recently successfully completed his Chartered Banker MBA from the Bangor Business School. He is also a Certified Training Professional (ARTDO) and a Certified HRD Corp trainer.

Sharon Chan Yit Ming
Senior Training Consultant

Sharon Chan is a senior training consultant at the Asian Banking School and has over 33 years of working experience in the banking sector.

She started her career in branch operations at a global foreign bank and then joined a local Investment Bank as a Treasury dealer before moving to the risk management division. There, she was involved in writing various new policies, guidelines and operational manuals for risk management, assets and liabilities management, anti-money laundering and business continuity management. Her next role at the banking group level covered a wider spectrum of retail and commercial banking, Islamic banking, investment banking, stockbroking, asset management and insurance. She held various senior positions including Head of Investment Bank Risk Management, Head of Group Enterprise Risk Management and Head of Group Regional Risk Management. Sharon was also a member of various management committees and also sat as the chairperson of the Malaysia Investment Bank Association’s Risk Management Committee, which is an industry working group. Prior to joining ABS, she was the Executive Vice President and Head of the Risk Management Division of a foreign bank in Malaysia.

Sharon is a Chartered Banker and holds an MBA. She is also a Certified Business Continuity Planner and a Certified HRDF trainer.

Lew Taw Fong
Senior Training Consultant

Lew Taw Fong is a Senior Consultant at the Asian Banking School and has over 32 years of banking experience.

He has worked for the country’s leading bank, holding various key positions including Branch Manager, Regional Trainer and facilitator, Head of Trade Finance and Remittance, Chief Operating Officer of a Malaysian bank in Hong Kong and as its Group Organisational Trainer on his retirement in 2011. His areas of training expertise include Branch Banking Operations, Trade Financing, Credit and Lending, AMLA/CTF, Central Credit Reference Information Search (CCRIS) and Fraud Detection and Prevention. Lew also conducted examination related programmes for the banking industry, Branch Manager development programmes and Entrepreneur and Leadership programmes.

Lew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (majoring in Management) from the University of Ottawa, Kansas, US. He is a Certified Manager Trainer from the Singapore Institute of Management, Certified HRDF trainer, Certified Training Professional by the Finance Accreditation Agency (FAA) and a certified FAA Assessor for Branch Managers. He was also a Master Trainer for the Microfinance Training for Practitioners 2017 programme, jointly organised by the Asian Banking School with Bank Negara Malaysia and the World Bank Group.

In July 2023, he obtained his Chartered Banker MBA (CBMBA) – Pass with Merit from Bangor University, Wales. Apart from MBA, this achievement also bears membership status with Chartered Banker Institute, UK.
Zurina Binti Othman
Senior Training Consultant

Zurina Othman has 29 years of experience in banking ranging from branch operations to credit/risk management. She has in-depth knowledge in business banking financing structure, business strategies, credit and risk management.

She started her career in 1995 as the operations officer in one of the leading banks in Malaysia, and successfully progressed to various key positions including the Head of Business Centres, Business Banking prior to her appointment as Chief Credit Officer (CCO) at a Development Financial Institution (DFI). As CCO, she was actively involved in training programmes and appointed as Chairman of the Credit Learning Council. Her areas of training expertise are in Credit Underwriting and Structuring, Credit Risk Management, Trade Financing and Islamic Banking.

Zurina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Study, majoring in Finance, from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). She obtained her Certified Credit Professional, Commercial Banking (CCP) from IBBM in 2004, and the Chartered Professional in Islamic Finance (CPIF) from the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals in 2021. She is also a Certified HRDF Trainer and a Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance (CeiSF) from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany.

Zurina enjoys travelling, outdoor activities and CSR work.

Ellie Chai Soh Ying
Senior Training Consultant

Ellie is a seasoned banker with a total of 27 years experience with 3 local and 3 foreign banks with extensive background in operational risk, audit and compliance. She started her career in banking industry in 1995 and has served in various capacities and departments including branch operations, loan documentation department, risk management department, compliance department and audit department.

In her career, she has helped spearhead the compliance monitoring and testing team with the objective to enhance compliance oversight and monitoring on regulatory compliance and financial crime compliance. She is also responsible in creating risk awareness and promoting strong compliance culture while building a good rapport with the regulators.
She believes in striking a balance between regulatory requirements without jeopardizing business objectives where compliance should act as the business strategic advisor and risk assessor to provide help, guidance and reassurance.

Ellie holds a professional degree in Chartered Secretaries & Administrators from Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. She has also attained the Certified Professional in Financial Crime Compliance issued jointly by AICB and International Compliance Association (ICA), ICA Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Crime Compliance and a certified HRDF trainer.

Simon Chin
Training Consultant

Simon Chin is a training consultant at the Asian Banking School. He has 30 years of experience as a banker with several local and foreign banks in the capacity of Associate Director, Team Leader and Supervisor; and is well-versed in mortgage, SME business development for loan and cash management, credit evaluation/assessment, and loan recovery.

He also worked in corporate services companies where he was exposed to company secretary work and as a senior manager handling corporate exercises such as Mandatory General Offers (MGO) for public listed companies. Simon is passionate about continuous learning and is always keen to share his experiences in business management. He keeps himself updated with the latest in technology and has certifications in FinTech, Data Science and Analytics (with Python programming). He has also given a webinar talk on FinTech at a university.

Simon holds a professional degree from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK) with merit in Economics and an MBA degree from Victoria University Australia with distinction in Management Information. He is a certified trainer (TTT) awarded by the HRD Corp (formerly HRDF) and holds a teaching permit (private universities) from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education.

Sharon Liew Siu Wei
Senior Training Consultant

Sharon Liew is a Senior Consultant at the Asian Banking School (ABS) and has more than 17 years of banking and training experience. She started her career as a Senior Associate at BDO; leading audits of the government-linked group of companies under the Prime Minister’s Office from 2005-2007. Following that, she joined Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as Financial Supervisor where her responsibilities included on-site and off-site surveillance of financial institutions in Malaysia. Pursuing her passion for teaching, Sharon then went on to teach banking and finance at the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College from 2014 to 2021.

At ABS, Sharon develops and delivers customised Sustainable Finance programmes for clients including designing Sustainable Finance Structured Learning Pathways. Currently, Sharon is working on expanding partnerships with government agencies to enhance the scope of training offerings to the banking and non-banking industry. She is also involved in conducting Qualification-related training.

Sharon conducts training in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Cantonese and has a teaching permit registered under the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant registered under the Malaysian Institute of Accountants and is a Certified HRDF Trainer. Sharon has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University Putra Malaysia and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching from the Open University Malaysia. She also holds a Professional Certificate in Islamic Finance from INCEIF, Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the London Teacher Training College and is a Certified Teacher in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (CTCSOL) from Hanban. She is a Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance awarded by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Germany.
Shahrul Adzuan Ahmad
Training Consultant

Shahrul Adzuan Ahmad is a training consultant at the Asian Banking School and has 27 years of working experience in the banking sector, with 24 of those years doing training and development at several banks.

His working experience includes branch operations, credit, training administration support as well as developing, delivering, and facilitating training programmes. The training programmes that he has conducted include Foreign Exchange Policy (formerly known as Foreign Exchange Administration Rules), credit, AML/CFT, leadership development and soft skills. At the Asian Banking School, Shahrul has conducted multiple training programmes relating to the Foreign Exchange Policy, Certified Credit Executive (CCE) and Retail Credit Professional (RCP). He also maintains a steady working relationship with the Foreign Exchange Policy Department of Bank Negara Malaysia for regular industry updates and training requirements as well as matters related to the Foreign Exchange Policy.

Shahrul holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Development from the University of Technology Malaysia and a Diploma in Banking Studies from the Institute of Technology MARA (now known as the University of Technology MARA). He is a Certified Training Professional (CTP), DiSC - Certified Behavioural Consultant (CBC) and Certified HRDF Trainer.
Aazad Ananthan Abdullah
Senior Training Consultant

Aazad Ananthan Abdullah has 23 years of working experience in foreign banks including in Labuan offshore banks. During his tenure as a Trade Finance Manager at several banks in Labuan, he was responsible for overseeing the project to set up their Trade Finance Department and SWIFT payment system. Later, while heading the Compliance Department in these banks, he also managed the implementation of policy and procedures pertaining to the overall trade finance operations and compliance.

Aazad holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence (Law) from Universiti Malaya (UM) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia. He is currently pursuing his Master of Commercial Law at University Malaya. He has an Advanced Certification in AML/CFT jointly awarded by the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers and International Compliance Association in collaboration with the University of Manchester Business School; and holds a Certified Integrity Officer (CeIO) qualification awarded by MACC Academy.

Aazad specialises and delivers training in the subjects of anti-money laundering/ counter-financing of terrorism, international sanctions and provides consultancy work related to AML/CFT policy and procedures for the financial industry. He is a senior training consultant at the Asian Banking School and is also a HRDF certified trainer.

Sylphy Chui
Training Consultant

Sylphy Chui is a training consultant at the Asian Banking School and has more than 20 years of experience in the banking & training industry. Her experience in the banking sector are in credit sales and marketing, credit evaluation and credit approvals, consumer and commercial loans, and branch management.

She started her career as a Senior Sales and Marketing Executive at a Public Bank Berhad branch where she gained valuable knowledge in branch operations. She then went on to the regional office, where she supported more than 15 branches in the sales team and gained recognition as the Top Three Sales Achiever for 2003 and 2004. In 2005, after receiving the Regional Top Sales Achiever Award, Sylphy was promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager, leading the sales team in the Regional Office. She was promoted again in 2007 and became Business Manager at a branch in Kuala Lumpur, where she led the Credit Department. In 2012, she was promoted to Branch Manager. During this time, the branch she managed maintained themselves as an award-winning branch for five years consecutively from 2013 to 2017.

Sylphy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, double majoring in Economics and Marketing, from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia and is also a Certified Credit Professional (CCP) through the Institute of Bankers Malaysia (now known as the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers). She is a Certified Training Professional through the Finance Accreditation Agency and a Certified HRDF Trainer.
Michelle Loo Phoy Wan
Training Consultant

Michelle Loo is a trainer & consultant in Asian Banking School under Commercial Banking Training team. She has been in the banking & training industry for 20 years. Her banking experience are in secured and unsecured lending, wealth products, bancassurance, SME banking and branch management.

Michelle started her career in the banking industry with HSBC Bank as a Mortgage Executive. In 2008, she joined OCBC as a Business Development Manager in SME Banking and during which time, the team she was in achieved Top 5 in the nationwide overall performance. Following that, she joined Maybank as a Mortgage Consultant. She was one of the pioneers in the Direct Sales Team and recognized as the Nationwide Top Team for 3 consecutive years. She then went on to join Alliance Bank with the position of Branch Manager. Subsequently, she joined Public Bank in Regional Sales and Support in SME Bancassurance, supporting 19 branches in the Klang Valley. Her main task was to maintain Regional top sales, which she achieved for 2 consecutive years.

She is actively involved in developing classroom & e-Learning content, storyboarding and gamification, as well as having the role as a Trainer for qualification, non-qualification & customised programme in Asian Banking School. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics majoring in Finance from University Putra Malaysia. She is also a Certified HRDF Trainer. She obtained Professional Banker qualification (Associate Banker of AICB) in the year of 2021 and as a Certified Experts in Sustainable Finance from Frankfurt School of Business, Germany in 2023.

Outside of work, she enjoys listening to music and reading books on personal development.
John Cheah Soon Chye
Training Consultant

John Cheah has 24 years of working experience with a career that spanned being at an international consultancy and 3 foreign banks. He spent 4 years in external audit and 20 years in banking, where he specialised in Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT). His audit experience included performing internal and external audits at various types of companies, especially at insurance firms.

His banking career saw him covering multiple roles within the AML/CFT Compliance function. This included policy advisory, transaction monitoring, suspicious transaction reporting, procedures development and other related areas. He spent the last 10 years of his career developing and enhancing the AML/CFT framework of a commercial bank, which included pioneering an AML/CFT review team, designing AML/CFT risk assessments for branches and the entity, as well as running the bank’s AML/CFT training programme for all segments within the organisation.

John has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of London and was an ACCA member. He moved into the space of Financial Crime Compliance soon after and has been a certified member of the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) since 2011. He also holds the Advanced Diploma in AML/CFT issued jointly by the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers and International Compliance Association. John is also a HRD Corp certified trainer.

On the personal front, John enjoys public speaking and achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) status from the global organisation Toastmasters International in 2012.
Professor DC Gardner
CEO, Asian Banking School

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