Following a seven-year hiatus from Standard Chartered, Sandy Chen returns to the Bank with aspirations to propel the markets in her home country to new heights. Utilising her experience in foreign markets, Sandy devised an innovative new business model that was inspired by Standard Chartered’s diverse and multicultural workforce.
Sandy Chen – Pioneering positive change after returning to Standard Chartered
With over 20 years of experience in the banking industry, Standard Chartered’s Sandy Chen transforms traditional banking operations as the Chief Operating Officer in Taiwan.
How did you begin your career in the banking industry?
After graduating from university, I was ready to apply my knowledge to the real world and embark on my career in the banking industry. Throughout my degree, I worked hard to develop my logical thinking skills which equipped me to deal with the complex nature of banking. My first job was at a large corporation, which helped to prepare my mindset for my future career at Standard Chartered. During my time in this position, I identified the importance of aligning myself with company values and ensuring that I embody them in my role.
My first role in the banking industry was at HSBC and as a trainee, I was able to gain experience in various departments. Having the ability to work within different areas of the Bank helped me to understand the basics of the banking industry and identify my chosen career path.
Tell us about your journey with Standard Chartered
I embarked on my first role at Standard Chartered Taiwan as the Head of Banking operations in 2008. I was tasked with developing an innovative new business model for the Bank to promote a transition from traditional banking to a contemporary hybrid model. I applied my experience from previous roles to produce a new and efficient working model that aligned with the Bank’s culture and its diverse workforce. I was dedicated to producing something that maximised the strengths of every individual and I am incredibly proud of what I was able to create.
After spending seven years as the Head of Banking Operations at Standard Chartered Taiwan, I relocated to China and began a new role at a company that specialised in financial technology (FinTech). During my time in this role, I developed my understanding of global financial markets and broadened my views of large corporations. Experiencing the scalability of institutions in China inspired me to return to my home market and use my new skills to support its expansion and progression. This led me to return to Standard Chartered Taiwan in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer (COO)
What advice would you give to someone looking to work at Standard Chartered?
Believing in yourself is imperative when embarking on a career at Standard Chartered. You must believe that you can make things work and then explore every solution to ensure your approach is effective. My biggest piece of advice is to be positive and embrace complexities, being afraid of challenges only hinders your success and surprisingly, I have learned my most valuable lessons during difficult times.
What are your responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer at Standard Chartered Taiwan?
As the Chief Operating Officer, I am responsible for managing the development of new processes that aid innovation and promote growth. I work closely with teams across various departments of the Bank to assist them to transition into the new working processes and adjust their operations in line with current agendas.
What is the best thing about working at Standard Chartered?
Despite the challenges posed by my role at Standard Chartered, my job is incredibly fulfilling and I am supported by my colleagues in everything I do. The Bank’s values to never settle, be a force for good and be better together are upheld by every individual and are apparent in every operation. There is a real feeling of family within every team and department, cultivating an environment where everyone is happy to help and better one another. Standard Chartered is committed to making positive changes in society. I enjoy participating in the Bank’s volunteering initiatives and I am proud of what I have been able to contribute to my local community.