People Moves APAC: Lenovo, HSBC AM, Morgan Stanley, Zafin
In a week where Lenovo makes a raft of new APAC leadership appointments to support its goal of expanding its offerings in the region, we round up the latest executive moves across Asia Pacific.
Eddie Ang appointed head of relationship segment at Lenovo APAC
Former Lenovo Singapore general manager Eddie Ang has been promoted to head of the relationship segment to oversee key business relationships and further lead the original equipment manufacturer, profit manager, and workstation teams. With more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, including 14 years at Lenovo where he has worked in executive positions covering APAC, Ang has strong regional knowledge and a track record of crafting and implementing strategies to deliver incremental growth in market share, revenue and operating income. Prior to Lenovo, Ang spent nearly a decade with Dell Technologies in both Japan and Malaysia.
Seok Poh Yeoh to head up credit research for HSBC in Asia
Seasoned finance exec Seok Poh Yeoh is set to take the reins for credit research across Asia for HSBC Asset Management, where she will strengthen the integration within the firm’s global investment platform and support sustainable investment efforts. With 16 years of industry experience, including at Credit Suisse and more than a decade at HSBC AM, which she joined as a financial analyst in 2012, Yeoh has been instrumental in strengthening credit research processes in Asia, according to HSBC. According to Elizabeth Allen, head of Asian fixed income at HSBC AM, Yeoh’s “analytical and research background, combined with her sustained involvement in the global fund offerings, make her the ideal candidate to lead the Asian research platform”.
Bilal Al-Ali to join Morgan Stanley as head of structured sales
Former UBS head of structured sales Bilal Al-Ali is set to join Morgan Stanley as head of structured sales for APAC. With 14 years of experience in quantitative research spanning both London and Hong Kong and across banks including ABN AMRO, RBS, BNP Paribas and UBS, Al-Ali has been with UBS in Asia for more than a decade most recently serving as Head of APAC Structured Sales.
Nicholle Linder appointed SVP, APAC at fintech Zafin
With the aim of spearheading growth across APAC, Nicholle Lindner has been appointed as Senior Vice President for global fintech leader Zafin. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the Asia Pacific financial services industry to the fintech table, Linder’s “extensive industry experience, innovative thinking and deep understanding of the industry’s digital transformation needs make her the perfect leader to deliver Zafin’s value proposition in the region”, says Jay Ryan, Chief Revenue Officer at Zafin. Lindner has held strategic leadership roles with leading Australian financial institutions including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Group. Most recently, Lindner served as senior director at Capgemini Financial Services where she developed strategy and new business initiatives for the firm’s financial services practice in APAC.
Neil Macdonald to head up APAC’s asset managers for State Street
Former KPMG head Neil Macdonald has been appointed by State Street to the firm’s newly created role of APAC head of asset managers, where he will be responsible for leading the company’s engagement strategy for asset manager clients across Asia Pacific, from strategic direction to solutions structuring. Macdonald has a prestigious past, having served as chief operating officer for BlackRock’s institutional clients across EMEA, and more recently serving as COO of global investments solutions at JP Morgan Asset Management. According to Mostapha Tahiri, State Street’s APAC CEO, “Neil’s experience and deep understanding of asset managers’ needs will strengthen our positioning to be an essential partner and trusted advisor for asset managers in the region”.
Priscilla Sims Brown named Amalgamated Financial’s next president and CEO
Joining from the Commonwealth Bank in Australia, Priscilla Sims Brown has been named the next president and CEO of Amalgamated Financial. Brown has more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry, having held leadership roles in firms spanning banking, wealth management, retirement and insurance.
Joining from the Commonwealth Bank in Australia, where she served as group executive of marketing and corporate affairs, overseeing end-to-end marketing, branding, public affairs and social policy, Brown’s previous experience includes senior positions at ACA Financial, Sun Life Financial as well as serving as CMO at Amerihealth/Caritas and as CEO of a digital health insurance brokerage startup, Emerge.me. According to Lynne Fox, interim president and CEO of Amalgamated, “Priscilla is exactly what we need to take Amalgamated to its next stage: a highly experienced and inspiration leader whose vision aligns perfectly with ours, and we are thrilled that she has agreed to serve as our next CEO”.
Could HR technology solve Hong Kong’s culture of overworking
It has long been common practice for employees across the world to work beyond their contracted hours, with staff feeling pressured to put the company’s needs before their own. But this can have a consequential impact on employees’ health, as long working hours create a poor work-life balance and demotivational working environment. This is particularly evident in workforces across Hong Kong, where employees are working an additional 24 hours during the week due to the rising issue of presenteeism. As a result, productivity in the region has dropped, and the health and wellbeing of workers have suffered.
Technological advancements have created a culture where staff feel obliged to be ‘always on’, and respond to calls and e-mails when they’re out of the office. The demand for increased working hours means that businesses are losing capacity through burnt-out staff who are struggling to care for their health while meeting the requirements of their work. Companies in Hong Kong that were once able to retain their staff through an attractive salary package must now consider expanding the perks they offer their workforce that can help support them in achieving a better work-life balance.
Although the UK still has progress to make, workplaces in Hong Kong can learn from businesses in the UK which have made considerable efforts to identify causes of stress at work and taken the steps to reduce these. UK employers are prioritising the wellbeing of their employees and through adopting policies such as flexible working, working from home and offering access to health and wellness tools, they are able to provide enhanced support to their team.
By incorporating a health engagement platform into a human resources strategy, HR leaders in Hong Kong can create a positive working environment and improve morale within their team, as well as encourage and incentivise staff to take action and introduce healthy habits into their daily routines. This will also assist in tackling a disengaged workforce, reducing absenteeism and boosting motivation – all factors that have been a problem in Hong Kong’s working culture.
Employees both in the UK and Asia should also take the steps to look after their own health so they don’t fall victim to burnout. Employers should encourage their staff to take regular breaks throughout their day, whether it’s to practise mindfulness techniques or simply take a walk. Stepping away from their desk and spending time outside will help to reduce stress and clear their mind.
Transforming attitudes to work in Asia is not a straightforward task and it will take time for age-old cultural and business practices to change. However, there are steps businesses can take to aid employees in living a happier, healthier lifestyle. Through implementing a wellness plan, businesses can support their employees in pursuing a healthy work-life balance and encourage them to improve their lifestyle both in and out of work. Not only will this create happier employees, but it will also lead to running a more profitable business as staff take control of their health.