Want to know what the life as an Executive Director and Head of Private Wealth Services is like? Alice Lau has more than 25 years' experience and works in the role at our Hong Kong offices. She discusses the challenges she faces, her proudest achievements and more.
1. Tell us about your role.
I'm an Executive Director, Head of Private Wealth Services at Intertrust and a member of the Hong Kong management team. In my role, I oversee the business development, client servicing and operation management to deliver integrated private wealth solutions for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in the Greater China region.
I lead a team of over 20 trust and corporate professionals to provide comprehensive services associated with structuring, formation and management of private and corporate trusts, private trust companies, pre-IPO trusts, employee benefit trusts and BVI Vista trusts.2. Walk us through your daily routine.
I work closely with our business partners, including private bankers, lawyers, professional services firms, asset managers and family office consultants to help UHNWIs develop wealth protection structures for personal, enterprise ownership or family wealth management and preservation.
Pre COVID, my typical day was full of travelling and meetings with business partners and UHNWIs in the Greater China region to get a better understanding of what clients need, including whether they need a trust structure for wealth planning, succession planning, asset protection and others. We work with our partners to develop a bespoke trust structure to accommodate individual requirements. At the moment, my typical day is either working from home or the office as part of our ‘new normal' flexible working arrangement.
3. Tell us about a recent client instruction. The IPO market has been performing very strongly in Hong Kong and in particular the 2018 listing reforms have driven the appetite for public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for Chinese start-ups and entrepreneurs. Most recently, a few senior executives of a company to be listed engaged Intertrust to establish trust structures for holding their shares in the company for asset protection and succession planning purposes. The company itself also engaged us to set up an employee benefit trust for their employees. We had to complete the work within a month in order to meet the tight deadline for the IPO. It was a challenge, but we're pleased that we could finish the work to our clients' satisfaction.
4. What is the most challenging issue your clients are facing currently, and how are you helping them to overcome it?
Regulatory compliance - we can help clients especially those larger, more complex and complicated clients who'll require tech-enabled solutions and platforms to meet their needs.
5. What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
I am enormously proud to have been working for Intertrust for over 20 years. I've been given varied opportunities to take up different roles and responsibilities which have given me invaluable experience to build my career and profile in the private wealth space.
I also feel very proud that our company has been named as the “Best Independent Trust/Fiduciary Company – Greater China” by WealthBriefing Asia for five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020. This long-standing recognition is an exceptional way to distinguish us from our competition as it recognises our service excellence, innovation, global connection and responsive mindset. The award increases our industry credibility to existing and potential customers by establishing ourselves as a trusted advisor in the private wealth space. It's also a good testament to the hard work that our incredible team has put in over the past years, reflecting our professionalism, expertise and dedication to excellence of work.
6. What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
- Stay connected with teams
- Provide learning and growth opportunity for team members
- Communicate effectively
- Be willing to listen and adapt to new ideas
- Remain ethical and transparent
- Provide clear goals and objectives
- Collaborative mindset
7. Who do you most admire and why?
I most admire my deceased father because his work ethic is second to none. He taught me to always be reliable, on time, and a person of my word.
8. Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
The last place I travelled was Beijing for business albeit was some time ago now. It's not a new place to me as I usually go there every month, but I still love the City and am fortunate that my work enables me to travel there so regularly.
9. If you weren't in the wealth management industry, what else might you be doing?
I'd be working in the fashion industry definitely - I always wanted to be a fashion designer!
10. How do you relax after a long day?
Going to gym class and unwinding and relaxing at home!
Originally published 13 July, 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.