Date posted: 21/06/2018 3 min read

Member profile - Angelina Kwan, Managing Director, Foundation, HKEX

Angelina Kwan shares her recipe for success, the highlights of working for the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the importance of giving back and her role on the board of various organisations

In brief

  • Angelina was recruited by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited to establish and run the Regulatory Compliance Department for the group.
  • Angelina shares her insights on "getting the job done"
  • What are the biggest challenges right now for the industry?

Angelina Kwan, Managing Director, Foundation, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited

Angelina Kwan, Managing Director

Tell us about what you do?

I was recruited by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) to establish and run the Regulatory Compliance Department (RCD) for the group. The main function of the RCD is to ensure that HKEX is in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations set by our regulators and governments where we operate, as well as regulatory relations, compliance monitoring, and advising the business on compliance, internal controls and regulatory matters.

After three and a half years of growing the RCD, I have now taken on a new challenge to set up a department which will run HKEX’s philanthropic and corporate social responsibility efforts.  

What does the start of a typical day look like for you?

At HKEX, we usually have meetings with internal and external parties throughout the day. Therefore, at the start of the day, it is important to catch up with what is going on globally in Hong Kong, and locally. I try to get in early to read my newspapers, documents and prepare for meetings, as well as get my very important cup of coffee! I have an open door policy for my team whenever they need advice, guidance, or assistance.  

If someone were to be you for a day, what’s the one thing they need to know?

I like to accomplish as much as possible in a day, so that someone would need to have stamina and be organised, be able to advise on a myriad of issues and topics, whilst keeping a really positive attitude.  

What would be your top three pieces of advice on “getting the job done”?

  1. Understand what your job entails, how you can make an impact and how to do it efficiently and effectively.
  2. Do your job thoroughly and strive for excellence. Always remember your values and being ethical when doing your job.
  3. Check and double check that you have written that paper or completed the task correctly. Never reply or send an email in the heat of the moment! If you can, finish drafting it and think about it overnight before you do.

What are the biggest challenges right now for your industry?

  1. Global changes in regulation are affecting the financial markets – keeping abreast of these changes and understanding the impact it has on the Hong Kong financial services industry, is a huge challenge.
  2. Competition in the financial services industry – who will survive, what markets will be at the top.
  3. How to keep abreast with all the changes in products, infrastructure, technology and knowing what to implement, or what products to offer to stay ahead and grow.  

What is your secret for success?

Work hard and smart, hold true to your values of doing the right thing and help people without expecting anything in return. I personally call people and know their secretaries by name — remembering people goes a long way. And read a lot!  

If you could choose to work in any company or organisation in the world – what in this company/organisation would appeal to you, both from a career perspective as well as lifestyle?

I would like to work in a global organisation that would allow me to travel around the world and influence policies, help educate about financial services as well as financial literacy, work with regulators around the world, and help shape the financial services industry, drive change, innovation and ethics.

I love to travel, as well as teach and develop people and organisations. It would be a career capstone for me, as it would combine all of the skills that I have acquired over the years. I love new challenges, as well as working and teaching.  

How does being a Chartered Accountant help you in your current role?

Being a Chartered Accountant has been a great help in my current role and my work with governments and charities. With my audit background, I have been able to understand complex systems, infrastructure and products and have been able to process this information and apply it to the rules and regulations.

This in turn has enabled me to advise businesses, helping them to restructure and innovate. The accounting background has also helped me read financial information and interpret the numbers. I am also able to Chair Audit committees and really contribute to investment and risk committees.

You are the Chair of the ‘Women's Exchange’ at the HKEX. Can you tell us more about this?

The Women’s Exchange (WE) is a staff initiated network, with the goal of increasing the role of women in the decision-making process and leadership within the HKEX Group.

The Women’s Exchange aims to: encourage a female-friendly working environment, support the development of a network of HKEX’s clients and stakeholders who believe gender equality is important, promote the development of policies and programmes within the company that support women in leadership roles and engage men and women together to achieve these aims.

It also encourages the creation of community outreach programmes, which connect HKEX staff with the company’s female clients and which further women’s issues through the company’s corporate social responsibility agenda.  

As the Chair of WE, I work with our Board to run programmes, special events, a ‘Back to Work’ programme, training courses for all HKEX staff and our clients/stakeholders to take part in. We have worked with the Hong Kong Government, the French and Hong Kong Chambers of Commerce, NGOs, such as the Women’s Foundation, and Community business on special events and programmes.  

I am also the Vice- Chair and Member of the Board of Governors of The Women’s Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong.

Through conducting ground breaking research, running innovative and impactful community programmes and engaging in education and advocacy, our goals are to: challenge gender stereotypes; empower women in poverty to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their families and grow the number in decision making-and leadership positions.  

What do you do in your free time?

I have many hobbies, but my favourites are; skiing, long hikes, collecting jade and learning about the history of Chinese antiques. I also really enjoy speaking about women’s’ issues, corporate governance, financial literacy and regulatory topics, so I do teach or speak in my free time.  

Finally, please complete this sentence – I am Angelina Kwan, Vice Chair of the Women’s Foundation, and ……

I am Angelina Kwan, Vice Chair of the Women’s Foundation and I hope to see gender equality for women and men and women working together to achieve this, after all it is 2018!

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