Mary Huen

Head, Retail Clients, Hong Kong

Mary Huen


I've spent 20 remarkable years at Standard Chartered and I'm looking forward to many more in the future. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong, I joined another international bank but was drawn to the culture at Standard Chartered. At my first interview I could already sense the human touch in my interactions with the Human Resource (HR) department and my line manager.

There was a strong emphasis on growth opportunities, so they recruited people not just for the current role but their potential to make a greater contribution in the long run. I also liked the Bank's strengths-based approach; it resonated with what I believed in. You are what you are and you need to like and leverage your strengths to make you the best person.

My opportunities

In my career with the Bank, I've had the opportunity to work in seven different functions, taking on varied roles in both the asset and liability side of the balance sheet.

I first joined the advertising team and two years later worked in the product marketing team, rotating across different products in Consumer Banking including Mortgage, Personal Loans and Credit Cards.

I've always had ongoing conversations with my line managers and the Talent Management team about my career development. After spending almost ten years in specialist roles, I expressed an interest to see more of the organisation and try out general management type positions. As a result I was offered a role in the CEO's office, working with the CEO on the Greater China governance and strategy. I was also rotated to a Customer Service role, then Wealth Management, Distribution and today I head the Consumer Banking business in Hong Kong.

These were all totally new experiences to me and each time I was eager to try something I've not done before. My line manager once asked me if I was willing to take the risk and I said it was in fact the Bank who's taking a bigger risk on me. That's the great thing about Standard Chartered. They give you opportunities to stretch and will support your success.

My day

I work with talented colleagues and in my role as country head, a sizeable portion of my time is spent in engaging different teams and peers from within the country, region and group head office.  As our Consumer Banking business expands in an already complex and fast-changing world, one of my key roles as a leader is to bring everyone on to the same page by fostering the right conversations and making the right connections, so that collectively everyone is working towards the same destination, with ownership and accountability.

My role is both an art and science. I manage a diverse team of over 3,000 people, who serve over 1.3 million customers, and together we deliver in excess of USD1 billion revenues. Connecting with our people is the art. I dedicate a significant amount of time to speak to front line staff as they meet with our customers every day. In fact I hope to increase this portion because it is one of the critical channels for me to gain insight on the market pulse and know exactly what our customers want.

The science part of my role is to work closely with my country management team to set the collective agenda each year, and regularly revisit it to make course adjustments. We manage the business via disciplined reviews of various business reports and gaining market intelligence through analysis, customer feedback and even customer complaints. This ensures we stay on track to achieve the end goal of becoming the world's best consumer bank.

My belief

I'm an optimistic person - the glass is always half full rather than half empty. Though I need to see both sides of everything in my job, I tend to focus on the positives. For example, work can be stressful but I have a caring employer, supportive reporting managers, great colleagues and I work for a successful bank. I'm also proud of the Bank's commitment to the community. Through the volunteering work we do, you see some less fortunate people in this world and it just puts things into perspective. If your only worry is about the challenges at work then you're a very lucky person.

My future

The Bank has given me roles that match my interests and strengths. In the near future I hope to contribute more in developing our young talents; mentoring and grooming them to be the Bank's future leaders. This is important because we strongly believe in developing our people and multiplying leadership capability in the organisation.

"I liked the Bank’s strengths-based approach; it resonated with what I believed in. You are what you are and you need to like and leverage your strengths to make you the best person."

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Mary Huen

RoleHead, Retail Clients, Hong Kong
Location  Hong Kong

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