To close out the Spring 2021 semester, Dr. King Au, Executive Director of HK FSDC & Axiom Managing Director Alvin Ma, who also serves as an adjunct Assistant Professor & lecturer at the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Business School, facilitated one last guest speaking event during their senior AMPB (Asset Management & Private Banking) Capstone class.
Through the invitation of Dr. Au, Amy Cho, an alumni of HKU (Industrial Engineering), visited for a ‘fireside chat’. Representing one of the top 50 ranked asset management firms, British-founded Schroders, Amy currently serves as the C.E.O. of Schroders’s Hong Kong office; as well as Head of Intermediary services for the Asia Pacific region. Prior to her current roles, Amy served with Citigroup, First State Investments, and Pictet & Cie.
The casual conversation provided an opportunity for students of the Capstone class to hear some professional insight on the challenges and opportunities of doing financial intermediary business in Hong Kong & Asia. Hearing from one of the financial industry’s most distinguished representatives would be beneficial for the students; the session aiming to reassure confidence, from the perspectives of industry professionals, that plenty of opportunities lay beyond graduation.
The conversation with Amy focused on the following put forth by Dr. Au, who also served as the moderator for the conversation:
1. How has the Asset Management industry in HK evolved over the years? What opportunities and challenges do you see in the future?
2. What advice would you give to young people who would like to pursue a career in Asset Management?
3. Could you elaborate on the recent development of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Asset Management in the Greater China area and how can asset management firms deliver such products to clients?
4. In your view, how will Fintech change the landscape of asset management, such as distribution channels?
5. What is your opinion towards the active ETF in the US, like ARKK, and do you see the potential of such asset management products in the Chinese market?
Tracing back from her twenty-five years working in the financial industry, Amy raised several good points and observations on the direction it would be headed, and how those next in line to join its workforce could prepare for the challenges ahead.
A few highlights included: prioritizing meeting new needs/demands from investment target audiences [investors/wealth management clients] as interest rates reduced (and to some extent, zero value entirely); along with predicting that investments will ultimately, favor absolute over relative return on investment, with a focus on private equity & capital space.
In addition, one of many valuable pieces of advice Amy gave to this year’s graduates was not only to be ever-more aware of emerging trends (as the industry modernizes and becomes more digitized), but to also embrace diversity: both within the workforce and serving clients of various backgrounds, lifestyles (emphasis on the LGBT community), and ethnicities.
Hearing some words of wisdom and advice from one of the industry’s most respected professionals, should offer reassurance to the imminently graduating AMPB class as they prepare for life after university, and ultimately, find their place in the ever-growing financial sector.