A marketing maverick: Cheuk’s story

Cheuk’s empowering journey to lead and transform the marketing team

Cheuk Shum, Head, CPBB Marketing, Hong Kong

20 years ago, Hong Kong and the rest of the Asian countries were just recovering from the Asian Financial Crisis, so it was perhaps not the best of times for an economics graduate to go job hunting. Like most people, I went to job fairs, events and wrote and posted job applications.

I met Standard Chartered at one of the recruitment events in London and among all the recruiters, the people from Standard Chartered gave me the most positive perception. I remember after my meetings at the assessment centre, one of the assessors from Hong Kong called me. He said some other assessors questioned my fashion sensibilities with my match of a brown suit, a green shirt and a gold tie, but he was prepared to judge me beyond how I dressed and wanted to know me a little bit more. To this day, I still treasure the opportunity he has given me. To play safe, I went back to a black suit and white shirt when I started my job in Hong Kong!

Many people have asked how I have stayed in one organisation for nearly two decades. I think this is a demonstration of our strong people culture. I’ve worked with many amazing long-serving colleagues. Some may have left, but many also re-joined the Standard Chartered family. I’d like to think we’re all drawn to one unique attribute the bank has: we’re entrepreneurial and willing to take risks on new initiatives and people.

Before I joined the marketing team, I spent eight years in various roles within the wealth management function. I had no experience in the marketing world and yet I was given the opportunity to lead and transform the team. My product background and knowledge complemented the strong marketing expertise that I have in the team.

Our inclusive culture has empowered everyone across the organisation to use a new lens in how we work, and identify new ways of doing things. And I think this desire to ‘do better’ is very much ingrained in our DNA. We may not be the biggest bank, but we have a unique network and the agility to disrupt markets.

My team says I’m a typical Aquarian: free-spirited and a rebel at heart with a nonconformist attitude, who challenges authority and anything that represents conventionality. Do I get into trouble from time to time? Absolutely. But it can also lead to great work, such as our Asia Miles marketing campaign launch.

Someone once said to me, “Leave a legacy at work”. I’ve always kept this close to my heart and with the support from my team, we are creating this legacy together every day.

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