Leon Lau joined Standard Chartered as a Graduate within the Client Coverage team in 2022 after graduating from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
What drew you to a career in banking in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong plays an important role as a key connector to the financial market in China which produces exciting opportunities at an exponential rate. The fast-paced environment in Hong Kong exposes individuals to projects and initiatives at a rate that is endemic to Asia’s growing markets and I have utilised this to accelerate my career. Standard Chartered is a market-leading bank with a strong presence in capital markets, allowing us to offer a full breadth of products and services to our clients. Starting my career with Standard Chartered is therefore rewarding and fulfilling. I can confidently say that Hong Kong is one of the best starting points for aspiring bankers to tap into the financial industry.
A day in the life of Leon Lau
During my commute to the office I grab a coffee and a light breakfast to get energised for the working day. I always make an effort to read up on the financial news before starting work to get a sense of the day's market changes.
Once I got to my desk, I began the day by checking my emails and planning today’s tasks. I also prepared for our team meeting at 10am by ensuring that I was up to date with our live projects and making note of any support I have to provide for my teammates.
On Mondays, my team and I catch up on the progress of different projects. This is a great opportunity to share our views and ask questions. At Standard Chartered, juniors are encouraged to voice their opinions, so I try to put my ideas forward whenever possible. Following the meeting, I prioritised the tasks that I was assigned in the catch-up and made room for any new ad-hoc tasks.
I worked on the research and analysis of our client’s business for originating deals that cater to their business needs. I supported my senior by preparing pitch decks and ensuring the pitch decks look neat and professional.
At the start of every new role I take on, I reach out to my teammates to meet for lunch to get a better understanding of what they do and the structure of their department. Doing this has enabled me to build connections across the office.
I caught up with internal teams that I had been collaborating with on deals. As some of these teams are overseas, it is important to keep everyone up to date with the progress of deals and the latest client activities. We touch base regularly to make sure that everyone has a proper understanding of how things are progressing.
Today we managed to close the deal with a client we have been working with for months. I prepared credit applications to detail clients’ banking needs and analysed their financial positions and related risks for credit approvers to evaluate.
I met with my mentors to catch up and hear their thoughts on the current market changes. I have hugely benefited from the mentoring scheme as I have received guidance from my mentors on my projects and career development.
I met with the Diversity & Inclusion committee members to plan an exciting panel discussion with industry leaders for the diversity and inclusion forum. Standard Chartered, Hong Kong is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and because of this, I have had the opportunity to be involved with the organisation of events, seminars, panel discussions and employee enrichment lunches. Working on this project has been incredibly fulfilling, as I have been able to improve my colleague's working experience and gain exposure to planning detail-oriented events.
Before finishing the day, I checked in with my line managers and colleagues for any updates on our work and keep them abreast of my progress so far. These daily reviews are intrinsic to my professional development and I undoubtedly would not have progressed as quickly as I have without them.
I feel that it is rewarding to work at Standard Chartered as I have been able to make a purposeful impact through my contributions. Life at this Bank is a perfect hybrid of both Eastern and Western cultures, making it the ideal location to develop the essential skills required to build a global career. The progression that I have made since joining Standard Chartered is huge and I look forward to what is to come in the future.