What is your role as a governance professional?
‘As a company secretarial officer working for a listed company, my role is to ensure regulatory compliance within the listed company and its subsidiaries. I also assist in the holding of board meetings and annual general meetings, preparing resolutions, statutory forms and announcements, reviewing annual and interim reports, and maintaining statutory records.’
What was your career path to your current role?
‘My Master of Corporate Governance degree at CityU gave me a good foundation for my career. Upon graduation, I was admitted by The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (the Institute) as an Associate member and that got me started on the current stage of my career. I have also learned a lot from my seniors at my listed company – they have opened up my view of the company secretarial field.’
What value does governance bring to organisations and to wider society?
‘Corporate governance is of the utmost importance to a listed company. Following the law, as well as the market rules and regulations, is of fundamental importance, but we also have to go beyond minimum compliance. Since shareholders invest in the company and entrust its day-to-day management to the officers of the company, they cannot be kept in the dark about the actions of management. Officers of the company have to act in the best interests of the company and the investors. In addition, we need to be aware of other stakeholders. Since our company is an internet and mobile value-added services provider, we have to be mindful of our customers and the interests of the community as a whole. Our company has participated in various corporate social responsibility activities. To sum up, corporate governance is essential to drive the success of a business. An organisation that can maintain strong governance can increase its value to stakeholders and benefit society as a whole.’
What qualities do you think are needed to be a successful governance professional?
‘I think governance professionals should have three essential qualities – we need to be detail-minded, we need to be able to multitask and we need to be humble. As the gatekeepers of organisations, being detail-minded helps to ensure against any compliance breaches. We are often required to handle several tasks at the same time – hence the need to be able to multitask without losing clarity of mind. Finally, being humble regardless of our seniority in the company makes us always ready to learn and find new ways of coping with the ever-changing environment.’
How do you think governance will evolve in the future?
‘To be equipped for the future, governance professionals should participate in the Institute’s CPD programme and the work of the Institute’s committees. This will benefit the organisations we serve, helping to establish a good governance culture, but it will also promote the importance of good governance more widely in all sectors of the economy.’
What inspires you in your life and work?
‘My family has played a key role in inspiring me in my career. My parents are members and my father is a Past President of the Institute and both he and my mother have good careers in the company secretarial field. They are my role models in terms of their commitment and passion for the work.’
How do you fill your time outside work?
‘I have started to pick up some new hobbies during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example baking cakes and muffins, and cooking lunch or dinner for family and friends. I have also been exercising by following workout videos on YouTube. To serve the profession and community, I also attend the meetings of the Institute’s membership committee four times a year and take part in activities of the Institute on a regular basis.’