Rita Xiao Wenhui joined the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) upon graduation. There, she built her skills in finance and a head for details, before moving to Stirling Finance Limited to work as a consultant. Her focus has been on funds and pension systems on mainland China and in Hong Kong, an expertise that she can now share in a forthcoming book co-written with her boss. She talks to Wong Yat-hei.
What’s your academic background? I have a first class honour’s BBA degree in finance from the City University of Hong Kong.
How do you start your day? I start my daily work with a cup of tea, then I go through the finance sections of various papers to keep myself up to date. Then, I check my e-mail box and respond to queries from clients.
What does your job entail? Writing monthly newsletters for clients on industry news, and responding to their queries. I also work with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
What are the major challenges you’ve encountered so far? It was a bit difficult for me to shift from being a back-office compliance person to a front-office consultant. Apart from my daily research work at the office, I also need to attend events and conferences for new information and to meet with clients and industry people. Since networking wasn’t my traditional strength, I was afraid of going out at the very beginning. However, I now find it interesting. What have you learned about your career? What are your plans? I am co-writing a book on investment funds in China with my boss, Stuart Leckie, who is an expert in this area. We aim to publish the book by May this year. So, there is plenty of work ahead with research, writing and business trips to Beijing and Shanghai for more information.
In the long term, I plan to develop my expertise in funds and pensions. I must improve my English, broaden my knowledge and be more active in networking to build up contacts. Any advice for those who are planning to enter your industry? As a consultant, you need to be interested in the area you’re doing, to always update yourself with new information. Some of the great ways to get information include having good research skills and developing a good network of contacts.