You Can Determine Your Career Height
An Interview with Alumnus Dr Jowin Fung Ka-lok
Having gained substantial experience in the financial services sector for over two decades, alumnus Dr Jowin Fung Ka-lok (Finance), currently the Managing Director of a Hong Kong listed financial group, is one of the leading figures in the field. While in HKBU, Jowin already made up his mind to set foot in the financial services sector, and tried to broaden his exposure to lay a solid foundation for actualising his career goal as a CEO. With his ability to embrace change, superb time management, sophisticated interpersonal skills and resilience, Jowin has successfully turned his company into a formidable opponent among competitors in the field. Jowin encourages young alumni to determine their career objective as early as possible, and thereby start nurturing personal habits in order to shape a positive work attitude for a successful career ahead.
Taking the Initiative
Jowin had already served as President of the Student Union in secondary school. During his undergraduate years at HKBU, he was active in AIESEC, having gained valuable leadership skills through leading a number of its programmes. Moreover, Jowin’s college life was fascinating. With outgoing character, he made use of his term breaks to visit, in Denpa Shōnen style (like backpackers with minimal travelling cost), overseas places of interest, exploring new territories. He also worked as a part-time sales in a retailer shop for consumer electronic products and attained sales skills. Who could imagine that one day, this experience facilitated Jowin to land the competitive HSBC Management Trainee job upon graduation. During the job interview, Jowin was asked to highlight the sales pitch of the swimming pool downstairs. Fortunately, Jowin’s part-time sales experience helped him through, and he became one of the three local graduates who were offered the position. Since his successful debut, Jowin started his smooth sailing in the financial services sector.
Always Be Vigilant, Strive for Changes
Jowin has worked in a number of multi-national corporations with extensive experience in the fields of retail banking, independent financial consulting, private banking and investment banking. At present, Jowin is the Managing Director and CEO of Kingkey Privilege Wealth Management Limited and Kingkey Asset Management Limited. He shared his views on his multifaceted portfolio, “I like to try new things. Coupled with the wish to set up my own company, I had, since graduation, intentionally taken up various positions in the banking sector. This made me get a better grasp of the modus operandi of the banking industry, the experience of which is essential for good management of a company leader.” Jowin thinks that a leader has to possess three crucial traits to steer his company to the top in the fiercely competitive financial services sector. First, one must be vigilant in peacetime, so as to keep up with market changes. Second, one should possess strategic vision to steer the company ahead. Finally, one needs to be innovative, and makes the best use of the company’s resources and competitive edge to spot and seize early the right business opportunities. Though the “family office” business in Hong Kong is under developed, Jowin knows for sure that it has great potential for growth. To that end, Jowin has successfully navigated his company to become one of the leading family office companies in Hong Kong.
Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today
An accomplished financial wizard, Jowin believes that success is built on good time and stress management, and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships. Though extremely busy, Jowin still finds time to support education in the financial sector, and to engage in charitable work. His community services include, among others, Honorary Chairman and Director of LOG Charity Foundation, Chairman and Director of Reading Dreams Charity Foundation, etc. In sharing his time management philosophy, he said, “One must try to prioritise his tasks according to their importance and urgency. For those that need to be discharged to others, one should hold the view that the task should not be left overnight. Never let yourself become the bottleneck of a work. Jowin also holds the view that it is important to establish a relationship with those who share the same vision and work philosophy with you. This would exert a positive impact on one’s career development. Stress management is another important attribute of a successful business leader, according to Jowin. As the CEO, he has to shoulder all the heavy responsibilities of the company, and hence needs to release stress by taking up hobbies like travelling, playing guitar and organ, cooking, and wine tasting. He opines that having diverse hobbies could contribute to a more fruitful dialogue in one’s social life. But he reiterates that one must take a genuine interest in his/her hobbies, so that one can enjoy the hobbies for releasing stress.
From Small Clue to Big Picture
Reflecting on his own experience, Jowin encourages young alumni who wish to enter the financial services sector to build early their road map towards their goal. Therefore, they should equip themselves accordingly, like reading at least one newspaper daily, in order to get acquainted with the latest political and economic trends. They should not rely solely on the information readily available on the Internet for understanding the industry. He earnestly hopes that young people should try to get to the bottom of an issue, and avoid jumping to the conclusion according to half-baked information. In such a way, they can develop a positive work attitude for themselves. To conclude, he said, “Your own habit will shape your work attitude, and work attitude will in turn determine how far you could reach in your career.”