Career Center: Just Starting Out
Advice From a CFE: Find a Mentor, Stay Educated
Ng Siew Kwan, CFE, CIA
Corporate Investigations Group for Dow Chemical in Singapore
Born and raised in Singapore, Ng Siew Kwan, CFE, CIA, came to the U.S. for an education in finance, beginning a path that would lead him to a career in fraud examination. He currently serves as Senior Manager, Corporate Investigations Group for Dow Chemical in Singapore, where he investigates fraud in the Asia-Pacific region and India including asset misappropriation, corruption schemes, theft of intellectual property and other issues.
Did you always plan to pursue a career in fraud examination?
No, in fact my interest in fraud examination took flight when I was an internal auditor. I was always curious to follow up on some of the audit findings that were passed on to the Corporate Investigation Group for further investigations. I was fortunate that after six years with internal audit there was an opportunity for me to join the Corporate Investigations Group.
How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?
I realize the importance of proper corporate governance and fighting fraud after seeing the effects and consequences of the collapse of Enron and WorldCom.
What is a memorable case or project that you have worked on? Feel free to alter or omit details to protect confidential information.
I do not have a specific memorable case or project to share because all the cases thus far have been unique and different in terms of culture, circumstances and the individual involved. But what has been truly been indelible in following this career track has been working in remote locations in some of the most developmentally challenged countries in [the] Asia-Pacific [region]. Gathering and coaxing information from strangers, investigating timelines, potential fraudulent events and piecing together a fraud jigsaw puzzle have been the highlights of my experiences thus far.
Do you have a personal motto?
My motto is "Ethics is how you practice it when there is no specific policy or when nobody’s looking."
What career advice do you have for those just starting out in the fraud-fighting field?
Identify a good mentor. Most fraud-fighting skills are honed and culled from broad exposure and experiences. It is important that young fraud-fighting professionals attach themselves to an experienced investigator. Keeping abreast of the technology available is imperative. One also needs to keep being educated in the "what," "how" and "why" in which fraud is being committed. Being one or many steps ahead is always a powerful tool to arm oneself with to fight the ever-growing sophistication of fraudsters everywhere.
What activities or hobbies do you like to do outside of work?
Online gaming and skiing.