What is your role as a governance professional?
‘I am the Corporation Secretary of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd and Regional Head of Corporate Governance for HSBC in Asia-Pacific.’
What was your career path to your current role?
‘I joined a management trainee programme with a UK bank in 1987. After the end of the programme I applied for an internal vacancy in the company secretarial department because I could see the personal skills that were desired aligned to my strengths. I was also attracted to the role because it offered the opportunity to study for a professional qualification. The international portability of the professional qualification subsequently became of value for my move from the UK to Hong Kong in 2010.’
What value does governance bring to organisations and to wider society?
‘Good governance provides a flexible framework that drives accountability and transparency to balance the interests of all stakeholders for the benefit of individuals, corporates and society. It underpins the application of positive behaviours and values by individuals.’
What qualities do you think are needed to be a successful governance professional?
‘Personal integrity and the strength to speak up and do the right thing; problem solving while ensuring compliance with technical requirements; thinking ahead and anticipation of issues; stakeholder management and diplomacy; clear and concise written communication skills; a deep understanding of the business and its operating model; and the ability to prioritise.’
How do you think governance will evolve in the future?
‘The advisory role of governance professionals will continue to grow, which will place greater emphasis on people and influencing skills to supplement the core technical skills of governance professionals. A greater emphasis on end-to-end governance will require governance professionals to have a broader perspective of and greater connection with the business. Also, I expect there will be further integration of technology into governance meetings and supporting processes.’
What inspires you in your life and work?
‘The aim to continuously improve what I do, support my family as best I can and pass on my experience to others.’
How do you fill your time outside work?
‘Spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy hiking, the gym, reading, trying to play golf and going to the cinema.’