1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m an American lawyer who has been living in Hong Kong for the past fifteen years.  I started out in private practice on the corporate team at an international law firm, focusing on securities and M&A matters.  I first began establishing relationships with the team at AIA while advising on their IPO, and when a position became available that matched my skillset, I took the opportunity to transition to an in-house role there.  For the past four years I’ve been Group Senior Corporate Counsel at AIA, and among other responsibilities, I advise our Finance, Treasury and Human Resources teams, as well as manage a team in Group Legal.  Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, 11 year old son and 7 year old daughter.

2. What drew you to a career in finance? What has motivated you to stay?

From an early age, I have been very detail-oriented and logical, as well as a hard worker. I think these attributes led me to a career in finance.  In terms of what has motivated me to stay, I’ve found that the work can be varied and creative, and there’s always something new to learn.  I also enjoy working with bright people who understand how companies work and figure out practical solutions.      

3. Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?

Time has taught me that as much as I like to plan, I should consider opportunities when they present themselves instead of discounting them because they arise at a time when I may not feel ready for them.  It’s good to take calculated risks, both personally and professionally, and exciting to see where they may lead. I’ve also learned that not achieving a goal is not always a bad thing. Setbacks are necessary to bring about change and identify lessons learned.      

4. What has kept you motivated to succeed this past year?   

Definitely exercise.  Before the pandemic I had a schedule of working out three times a week before going to the office, but as gyms closed, I found it difficult to transition to on-line gym sessions. After I spent some time doing a little exercise and working more hours at home, I found that I felt drained.  Once the cooler weather came to Hong Kong, I started to hike outdoors more, explore trails in distant islands, and prioritize my daily step goals.  I also walk during hours that I hadn’t normally exercised, for example meeting my husband at his office to walk home with him in the evening. Besides getting back some physical fitness, I’ve found that exercise has positively contributed to my mental health and wellbeing.