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Developing the Marketplace

Alliance Bank also runs various financial management initiatives to cater to the different Malaysian demographics to enable them to make informed decisions.

They say education begins at home; none more so true than at Alliance Bank. Understanding that our staff too would appreciate financial planning and wealth management advice, we hold various programmes regularly to help them and their children make informed decisions about their investments and plan their fiscal future.

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Participants of the Alliance Expert Series diligently paying attention during the forum

The well-received Alliance Expert Series continues to grow in numbers since its inception two years ago. The Series features three financial experts who sit down in a forum to discuss local and global markets, as well as investment opportunities, to the investing public. To-date, the Bank has held over 26 Expert Series sessions in various major cities in Malaysia. The annual Alliance Corporate Day, hosted by Alliance Investment Bank, avails insights from well-known market players and consultants for the benefit of its institutional clients.

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The Alliance Corporate Day, hosted by Alliance Investment Bank

In strengthening our commitment and partnership with the SME community, we launched the BizSmart Academy in 2013, a first-of-its-kind holistic approach combining business education, coaching and funding for young entrepreneurs. The BizSmart Academy is the Bank’s 360-degree proposition to help SMEs accelerate their businesses through business support, business networking, and advisory, as well as formal and informal learning. The online knowledge centre, found on www.BizSmart.com.my, features articles on marketing, technology, branding, human resource and much more to enable businesses to grow profitably and sustainably. Existing customers can also sign up for relevant business seminars via the online site.

The BizSmart Academy’s annual Young Entrepreneurs Conference (YEC) is one of the highlights of the young SME segments’ calendar. Commended for its relevance and networking opportunities, the TED talk-styled conference focuses primarily on issues faced by young Malaysian SMEs. It features a well-balanced mix of successful young and seasoned entrepreneurs alike who share stories of their SME journeys. The YEC 2014 held in Kuala Lumpur (KL) in July was a sold-out event, featured seven entrepreneur speakers and was attended by over 1,000 participants. During the YEC 2014 in KL, the #bizsmartacademy hashtag was one of the Top 10 trending topics on Twitter that day due to the active online chatter by the YEC 2014 delegates. A smaller scale YEC 2014 was organised in Penang; 350 people attended the event.

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The MANCO during the launch of
Alliance BizSmart Academy in 2013

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The 3 finalists of the Alliance Bizsmart Academy
SME Innovation Challenge 2013

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Steve K. Miller and Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin at
the launch of Alliance BizSmart Academy 2014

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Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, founder of SP Setia
talking passionately during the YEC 2014

Perhaps the most novel aspect of the BizSmart Academy is the Bank’s SME Innovation Challenge. Launched in tandem with the Academy last year, the Challenge aims to nurture the next generation of young entrepreneurs who have been in business for three years or less. In its inaugural debut, the Challenge attracted over 200 business submissions vying for the RM250,000 cash prize and a chance at learning from the best. The 13 shortlisted finalists were given Blue Ocean Strategy coaching, mentoring by top business leaders as well as marketing and branding opportunities. At its Grand Finale in December 2013, Christy Ng Shoes was named the winner of the Grand Prize, with TBA Resources Sdn Bhd (Textbook Asia) as the runner-up who received RM100,000.

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Posing proudly with the “Best SME Bank” and “Best Retail Banking Brand Initiative” in Asia Pacific, Gulf region and Africa by The Asian Banker at the Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2015 ceremony

The Bank was named the “Best SME Bank” in Asia Pacific, Gulf region & Africa by The Asian Banker at the Excellence in Retail Financial Services International Awards 2015 ceremony held in Singapore. The BizSmart Academy programme also received the title of “Best Retail Banking Brand Initiative” in Asia Pacific, Gulf region and Africa at the same awards ceremony. There is absolutely no doubt that this programme continues to create an impact in the SME industry as this is the second time in three years that we have won an award at the prestigious Asian Banker award ceremony. This is an uncommon feat as only one other bank (not from Malaysia) that has repeated its win at The Asian Banker’s awards in this category.

Last year’s SME Innovation Challenge returned with a bigger and bolder programme. It attracted over 480 entries from across the nation from a diverse range of sectors ranging from robotics, food and beverage, e-commerce to medical devices, green technology and retail. This was a strong indication of the programme gaining traction among young SMEs. The learning programme was enhanced with more practical and relevant sessions such as “Lean Marketing” and “Talent Management”. For the finalists, one of the draws of the Challenge was the chance to spend an afternoon with successful entrepreneurs and hear their stories at the CEO Chatroom series. Targeted media and branding exposure arrangements were also scheduled to promote the finalists and augment their marketing strategy. Last year’s Challenge featured cash prizes of up to RM600,000.

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The SME Innovation Challenge 2014 finalists at
the Groupon training

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The BizSmart Academy SME Innovation
Challenge 2014 visit to Mydin

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The BizSmart Academy SME Innovation
Challenge 2014 at the CEO Chatroom series

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The winners of the BizSmart Academy SME Innovation
Challenge 2014

Sunway University Talk

Alliance Bank has devised its very own “Alliance Knowledge Sharing Series” for expert talks held at universities. Manokaran Mottain, Chief Economist and Tan Eng Kiang, Head of Group Financial Markets of Alliance Bank were invited to share on Lessons from Financial Crises: Have we learnt our lessons? and Structure and Development of the Malaysian Bond Market respectively. The talks which provided an insight into the real world generated much interest and queries from the students.

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Manokaran Mottain (Front Row: Fifth from the right)
with the excited Sunway University students
at his talk on 7th April 2016

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Tan Eng Kiang (Front Row: Center)
all in smiles with Sunway University students
at his engaging talk on 5th May 2016

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