What is your role as a governance professional?
‘I joined Nomura Asset Management Hong Kong Ltd in 2013, initially focusing on the firm’s regulatory compliance activities, but gradually my roles and responsibilities expanded to cover corporate governance and risk management as well.’
What was your career path to your current role?
‘I was an accountancy graduate and began my career in one of the Big Four audit firms as a professional. I started my compliance career in 2003 when the new Securities and Futures Ordinance was introduced. Since then, I have worked for different financial institutions conducting different regulated activities. Working for multinational financial institutions has given me valuable and practical experience in handling corporate governance, compliance and risk management matters.’
What value does governance bring to organisations and to wider society?
‘Governance is a culture which should be embedded into the value of every organisation. Every individual staff member plays an important role in the whole governance structure. As long as we understand our roles in the governance system, we can contribute to better governance outcomes by following and implementing the organisation’s governance policies and procedures. Good corporate governance builds an organisation’s reputation and reliability. When the majority of market players possesses a strong corporate governance culture, there’s hope for a more stable and transparent society.’
What qualities do you think are needed to be a successful governance professional?
‘A good understanding of the governance system is the basic requirement. Without understanding the system, you will not be able to identify your roles, let alone implement the organisation’s policies and contribute to overall performance. Critical thinking and evaluation will help identify the weaknesses and areas for improvement. Proactively identifying weaknesses and taking a preventive approach rather than a remedial one is also desirable. Integrity is equally important – a governance professional should not be afraid of speaking out and should act in the best interest of the company and the market as a whole. He or she should also be able to deal with staff members at different levels in order to keep enhancing the governance structure and system, so excellent communication skills are also needed.’
How do you think governance will evolve in the future?
‘Governance will become a core value for every organisation. In the past, only shareholders were interested in understanding the governance structure, but nowadays governance has become a concern for every stakeholder of an organisation, including the government, regulatory authorities, environmental protection organisations and the general public. They would like to learn and understand the important role governance is playing to ensure that the organisation is operating in accordance with the required governance standards and public expectations. More resources and training are required to meet these expectations, but I think organisations will use their best endeavours to embed governance in their corporate values for every staff member to follow and work towards the same goal.’
What inspires you in your life and work?
‘Commitment to excellence. I come from a middle-class family and my parents always inspire me to do better in my daily life because this will become my lifelong asset. I do my best to improve my performance and knowledge, not only in work but also in personal development, even leisure. In a rapidly changing environment, continuous learning will help us raise our game. Also, it has always been my aspiration to repay society. I work with HKU Space to deliver courses on compliance with an aim to share my knowledge in the industry and help develop more compliance professionals.’
How do you fill your time outside work?
‘I usually spend my time with my family. I play board and electronic games with them and I like cooking for them too. I also enjoy playing football with friends but recently, due to the pandemic situation, I often go jogging alone. I also like singing.’