The WFE's Women Leaders 2024 – Grace Mok, Executive Director, Head of Member Supervision at SGX

By: Grace Mok, Executive Director, Head of Member Supervision, Singapore Exchange Ltd Mar 2024

Name: Grace Mok

Singapore Exchange Ltd 

Job title: Executive Director, Head of Member Supervision


1. Brief job description

I lead the member supervision team at Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo), an independent subsidiary of SGX Group that undertakes all of the frontline regulatory functions. My team and I help members of Singapore Exchange (SGX Group) comply with SGX rules and prudential requirements. We also develop membership rules and are responsible for ensuring that only good quality market participants are admitted as members of SGX and as product issuers.

Having been at SGX Group for more than 28 years, I have had the opportunity, as a frontline regulator, to handle a diverse suite of responsibilities, including that of an inspector, prudential supervisor, risk manager, compliance adviser, policy and rule maker.

I am the alternate lead of the SGX Default Recovery Team and a member of the SGX Surveillance Panel. I also sit on the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF) Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) Examination Board. The CMFAS Examinations are the licensing examinations for the capital markets and financial advisory services in Singapore. 

I am still passionate about the work I do after almost three decades. The task of upholding balanced and pragmatic regulatory standards, providing regulatory guidance and helping members enhance their internal controls – all of these are aimed at safeguarding investors’ savings and protecting the interest of market participants. The work is purposeful and meaningful.

The strong partnership that my team and I have established with our membership has been instrumental in helping us develop robust rules and policies in line with international practices while taking into consideration the interests of multiple stakeholders.  

2. Short biography

I graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1994 with a degree in Science (Biochemistry and Microbiology). I particularly enjoy watching war movies based on historical events.

3. What were your professional highlights and challenges in 2023?

2023 was the year when the entire world came out from the pandemic. Cyberattacks were a key concern. With the rise in cyberattacks globally, my team and I increased our planning and running of cyber drills with our members to better prepare them for any potential business disruption. This was an initiative we launched several years ago with our membership. We also provided guidance to our listed companies and members in the form of a Cyber Playbook and a Cyber scenario planning handbook.

Third party dependencies and the handling of data corruption were other areas my team and I focused on in 2023, following the Ion Group incident. During the incident, my team and I worked alongside our members to ensure that their contingency plans enabled critical operations to continue to minimise any market impact, and their systems were clean before plugging into the exchange infrastructure, so as to prevent contagion.

In 2023, we continued to step up our efforts in monitoring our members’ financial and liquidity well-being. We introduced a new financial template for our membership and took the opportunity to enhance our member liquidity stress testing framework in consultation with our membership and continued to run default management drills with our members and liquidating brokers and fine tune our default-management procedures.
To keep pace with digitisation, my team also successfully digitised regulatory submissions and workflows for all our members with the introduction of a member portal that serves as a central repository.

Behind every success of SGX Group’s numerous pioneering product launches is timely regulatory support, which my team provides, alongside other SGX teams. In 2023, we provided regulatory support for SGX Group’s development of Structured Certificates, Depository Receipts with a foreign underlying element, and linkages with foreign exchange/ clearing houses.

4. Tell us about a few of your key achievements?

One significant milestone is working alongside a key segment of the membership to transform their manual surveillance monitoring processes to fully automated solutions. My team and I have published surveillance guides and dashboards to make transparent our findings on potential market abuses, and to help our members formulate their surveillance parameters. I am pleased to share that our members are now equipped with robust surveillance monitoring tools and standards, creating greater investor confidence for our marketplace.

Covid-19, extreme market volatilities and end client defaults. These led my team to develop the following Good Practice Guides to further impress on our members the importance of adopting good risk practices, particularly in the deployment of trading algorithms under highly volatile market conditions:    

The Credit Risk Management Guide, which articulates best practices observed among SGX members and emphasises the need for a strong risk culture

The Algorithmic Trading Regulatory Guide, which highlights best practices observed on governance, development, testing and reviewing common algorithms used in our marketplace

These efforts overlay a good risk management foundation that our members have established over the years through robust risk practices, anchoring SGX as a well-trusted marketplace.

Being a strong advocate of industry training to ensure our members are familiar with rules and regulatory practices, I initiated a collaboration with the Futures Industry Association (FIA) to develop online training modules on SGX and business conduct rules. My team also carries out regular training sessions for new members to uphold the regulatory standards of our market place.

Having weathered market crises with SGX, my team and I focus a great deal of attention on the operational resiliency and business continuity measures of our membership. We also regularly carry out drills with our members to better prepare ourselves for any future crises. We vigilantly monitor our members’ financial and liquidity health, their internal control systems and processes, and take proactive measures where necessary. I believe a robust financial and internal control system will mitigate any potential disruption and facilitate greater client access.

I have also had the privilege of working with many stakeholders to enhance the attractiveness of our securities and derivatives markets and drive innovation – launching new systems, introducing new regulatory frameworks for new products/new business proposals/ client initiatives.

Enjoying policy making and rule reviews, I have spearheaded several rule rewrite projects for both the securities and derivatives markets, with the aim to aligning our rules with market and international practices and reducing the member compliance burden without compromising standards.

5. Who and what inspires you to achieve your professional success?

Desmond Doss, a US army medic during World War II. Doss is an inspiring figure who had three remarkable qualities:

Unwavering courage 


Perseverance and tenacity

Doss exhibited extraordinary courage under fire. Beneath his quiet demeanour was a strong sense of unwavering commitment to his team, which led him beyond the call of duty to act under seemingly insurmountable circumstances, and when no one was looking. Going beyond his typical duties, he repeatedly risked his life on the battlefield to rescue wounded soldiers, dragged injured comrades and lowered them down a treacherous cliff to safety in the absence of any weapon. Despite facing severe discrimination and mockery during training, Doss remained resolute in his goals to serve. His unyielding determination and tenacious attitude led him to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions. Doss’s perseverance highlights his will to “succeed” and his dedication to his team and organisation over formidable challenges. While the corporate world today may not require one to physically save the wounded, Doss’s acts inspire me to be a “King Maker” and help those around me succeed. His acts are also a testament to the power of a strong corporate culture and personal values.

Closer to home, my parents and father-in-law have been my role models, upholding the same three remarkable qualities as Desmond Doss, and much more.

6. How have you overcome setbacks, and what have you learned from adversity?

I rely on the 4Rs in times of setbacks:

Recognise the shortcoming

Remind myself it is temporary

Respond with optimism

Resolve the matter

7. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions?

I encourage aspiring leaders to embrace every opportunity, build collaborative relationships, and go the extra mile. Every experience (good or bad) creates an avenue for personal and professional growth. Leadership is a journey of responsibilities and comes in many forms; persevere and do your best and I believe your sphere of responsibilities and influence will increase.


The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.