Faces of TEC: Hong Kong Edition

In the second edition of our interview series, we meet some of the Members and TEC team from our Hong Kong community.

Date posted: 4 September, 2019
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Last month, we introduced our ongoing series ‘Faces of TEC’ with a special Shanghai edition. We will continue to develop this series every month as we visit different cities throughout our network. With 25,000 Members across our global network, our Centres are home to some incredibly accomplished and talented people. We want to use these profiles to spotlight some of the stories and faces that make our community something incredibly valuable and unique. This month we are meeting Members and one of our own team from Hong Kong to hear their thoughts on leadership and approaching challenges at work. Hong Kong is a dynamic market for TEC and even this year we have launched a new, multi-floor Centre in Prosperity Tower with new expansions planned for early 2020 at Two Pacific Place. Our sincere thanks to Andrew Bradshaw, Starsky Sham and Apple Leung for their contributions and time. We look forward to meeting more of our Members in the coming months.

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Andrew Bradshaw – Managing Director, Global Investment Strategy Hong Kong Ltd.

Can you tell us who you are and what you do? 

I am the Managing Director of GIS Hong Kong, a boutique prime broker.  I have lived In Hong Kong since late 2014 and was previously based in Singapore and Japan after starting my career in Australia.

Can you tell us more about GIS? 

GIS UK was founded in 2004 and is a financial services company that offers a wide variety of services to institutional, family offices and high net worth clients. GIS’s main focus has been global settlement and safe custody services. Over the past 3 years GIS has administered over 250,000 transactions with settlement values exceeding GBP50bn. In 2019 GIS established Global Investment Strategy HK Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary. GIS HK Ltd has been approved by the Hong Kong SFC for type 1 activities and we are applying for type 2. GIS has launched a boutique Prime Services product with a focus on emerging and smaller AUM established funds.

 

We were determined to be the most efficient custody and clearing partner for global hedge fund managers using advanced technology as the basis for our business. Our diversity, experience, and proven technology allows us to deliver both a first-class service and complete spectrum of integrated solutions for a variety of market participants from trading through to client services.

 

Could you outline some of the challenges that come with the scope of your work?

Just the usual competition-based issues. We operate in a highly competitive space, and of course we believe strongly in  our positioning, product, people and the fact that we have the right strategic plans to be successful.

 

Given current speculation on the stability of Hong Kong’s market, could you elaborate on the what the future landscape looks like and GIS’s ability to navigate this?

We are committed to Hong Kong as a base for our APAC business. Having said that, I think the concerns around the independence of law in Hong Kong are real for the financial community and this is something we all need to monitor closely.

 

What has been one of your most important achievements in your current role?  

I have been with GIS for three months, so it is probably more a work in progress at this stage. Key areas of focus have been counterparty selection, IT infrastructure build and developing key sales, marketing and strategy documents.

 

The best piece of professional advice I have received? Be prepared, be curious, be authentic. Don’t let fear of failure get in your way.

 

Where and how do you work best? What does your ideal workspace look like?

We have only been in our TEC office for three months and very much appreciate the opportunity to participate in this story as a great way to introduce ourselves to the TEC ecosystem and community. I am a huge fan of the trend towards open workspaces adding variation to the old fashioned office and desk.  Ideal – maybe TEC can arrange a location in Byron Bay on the northern NSW coast in Australia….

 

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Starsky Sham – Sales Director & ShareholderVerisio  

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Starsky Sham, I am the Sales Director and a shareholder of Verisio Ltd. I was born in Canada and raised in Los Angeles and have been back in Hong Kong for 13 years.

 

Our company provides Modern Slavery Act Due Diligence and Supply Chain Transparency services. We do this using a software we have developed in-house in Hong Kong called ‘Optimus’ as well as our teams of professional social compliance auditors in Europe and Asia who visit factories, farms and warehouses to interview workers and evaluate ethical working conditions.

 

Can you tell us more about Verisio?

Verisio was founded in the United Kingdom in 2015 when the British Government published its Modern Slavery Act which requires all companies with sales of over £36 million to provide an annual, detailed Modern Slavery Statement explaining how they are handling supply chain transparency. The main shareholders of Verisio have been in the social compliance auditing industry for over 25 years, so we have a wealth of experience in delivering solutions to our clients, who are mostly well-known UK, European and Australian brands. We now have about 50 colleagues across our European and Asian offices.
 

Verisio deals with some very timely social, political and cultural issues. Can you outline some of the challenges that come with the scope of your work?

Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability have been hot topics for many years now, but unfortunately, despite much talk, there hasn’t always been sufficient action to really address issues such as climate change and Modern Slavery. These days the buzzword among investors is ‘ESG’ which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance issues.

 

Our biggest challenge is to get companies to take this seriously and not just to write fine-sounding policies but to genuinely  implement really practical solutions.

 

When companies talk big about ESG but act little, we call this ‘green-washing’. This is still very prevalent with many big corporations.
 

What do you see for the future of your organisation and the impact your work will have in the long run? 

In the UK we are the only company that provides Modern Slavery Act Due Diligence and Supply Chain Transparency using both software and experienced social compliance auditors. Currently, what sets us apart from our competitors is that we have developed a cutting-edge software solution in Hong Kong that manages all of the data and much of the administrative work involved in supply chain transparency. We call this system `Optimus’ and it is mainly written in the ‘Ruby on Rails’ framework. As such, we are ahead of any potential competitors and since we are fully funded and profitable, we can grow as fast as our clients are willing to act.

 

We are passionate about making the world a better place and playing our part in the eradication of Modern Slavery. Beyond this we see potential in other areas of compliance and supply chain management.

 

Companies will come under more and more pressure from governments, consumers, NGOs and other stakeholders to divulge more information about their supply chains, and the reputational cost of failing to meet these demands can be high. Verisio will be there to help them find solutions that are easy, cutting edge and cost-effective.
 

What has been one of your most important achievements in your current role? 

I have been involved in setting up programs for over twenty retailers and brands, many of which have large offices in Hong Kong or China. I feel proud to be a founder of this business.
 

Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position. I believe good leadership involves communicating, inspiring, supervising and embracing the occasional failure as an opportunity to learn.
 

Where and how do you work best? What does your ideal workspace look like? 

Basically its TEC. The venue and event services are most appreciated in providing us with a very good platform to connect with other TEC members, by setting up seminars to introduce ourselves.

What is important for us is to be near our clients and to have a reputable address. TEC provides that. Impressive meetings rooms and good coffee help make the working environment what it is – professional and productive.

 

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Apple Leung – Assistant Manager Operations, The Executive Centre, Hong Kong

Can you tell us who you are and what you do? 

My name is Apple Leung and I am the Assistant Manager of Operations for TEC Hong Kong. My role is to manage our centres daily operational performance, provide training to our team, ensure SOPs are implemented and that we are doing everything possible to deliver service of the highest standard.
 

How does TEC rise to meet the challenges that our Members encounter?

Our Engagement Team is trained to accommodate as well as anticipate our Member’s daily needs. We provide support across all aspects of their business and have found that we are uniquely positioned to support start-ups or SMEs that are new to Hong Kong. It could be as small as a stationary order or a limousine booking, maybe overseas travel arrangements and even helping them expand business connections through our TEC events and community channels. We are the one point of contact for our Members, helping with their efficiencies and allowing them to focus on their business.  
 

What has been one of your most important achievements in your current role?

Having a good rapport and getting positive feedback from Members is when I know I have done my job well. Perhaps what enables these relationships to form is my vested interest in their businesses, I’m always following their growth and hoping for their continued success.
 

Great leadership is evidenced in a happy and productive team. When a team is genuinely happy at work they are willing to share their thoughts, communicating more effectively and most importantly, showing confidence in their abilities.
 

What has been the best feedback from a Member you have received? 

We have Members say that they can’t remember what work was like before TEC! We have Virtual Office Members who travel constantly yet always think to bring us a snack from their recent trips when collecting their mail. It means so much to our entire team and is really motivating.
   

What has TEC help to shape your career?

I have been working in TEC for almost 4 years and I am privileged to still be learning every day from both Members and my teammates. I started at TEC as an Engagement Associate and developing my career to where I am now makes me incredibly proud. I have learnt how to communicate professionally with Members from all industries and all types of businesses. I have learnt how to lead a team of my own. I have learnt how to identify their strengths, building their confidence along the way. TEC has offered me the support I needed to achieve this growth when faced with day-to-day challenges.

 

Where and how do you work best? What does your ideal workspace look like?

Given that the basic nature of a serviced office is constantly changing, TEC have always been able to stay one step ahead of the competition in terms of  designing an environment that meets changing demands. Instead of following the same scope and standards, TEC have always been flexible and innovative.  I work best in a place that is full of positive energy, a trusted environment where I’m empowered to make decisions. TEC does exactly that which is why I come to work every day with the biggest smile.

 

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