Female leaders, while a scarce resource, are a powerful force in driving innovation adoption across industries. Women are at the heart of sustainable businesses and a major driver of global economic growth. A variety of international and national ventures have been formed to unite female leaders around the world and allow for balanced growth and personal development of diverse workforce around the world. Such organizations and resources include Women’s World Banking, FemTech by Innotribe, Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group and Digital Finance, Women Thrive Worldwide, DCFemTech, FemTechNet, and many, many more.
Each country/hot financial hub around the world has its own female ‘satellites’ building the foundation of an innovative and inclusive nation, and this time, we will be looking at some of the most successful, talented and strong female leaders in Hong Kong’s financial scene and beyond with impressive experiences and an expansive global footprint of their achievements.
The Hong Kong FinTech ecosystem has clearly developed over the past 18–24 months. One of the great things that have happened is that the women that are active in this space are becoming more visible. The Hong Kong FinTech Community has actively embraced the FinTech Panel Pledge encouraging proposed speakers to challenge conference organizers for more diversity on panels and as keynote speakers. Hopefully, this will all contribute to the ecosystem becoming more inclusive with the endgame to encourage more women and girls to study engineering and tech, join startups, become founders, entrepreneurs and/or investors and make the ecosystem more diverse and inclusive. There are already some amazingly talented women out there and I am excited to see more of them in Hong Kong, shared with the LTP Team Maaike Steinebach, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive, Hong Kong Branch.
CEO CBA HK Branch MD IB&M Hong Kong,
At CBA HK, Maaike provides oversight for the Institutional Banking & Markets and Private Banking business, supports the bank’s business development in China and is responsible for the CBA Innovation Lab
that was opened in January 2016 in Hong Kong, driving corporate innovation for CBA (executive sponsor of the CBA Innovation Lab in Hong Kong) across the region. She is also an active member of the Hong Kong FinTech Community, startup mentor and change advisor. Maaike is a strong advocate of innovation and co-operation and provided an early support as core founding member to theFinTech Association of Hong Kong
Managing Partner and Founder, Arbor Ventures
Melissa Guzy is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arbor Ventures and has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and as a venture investor in Asia and Silicon Valley. Previously from 2001-2012, Melissa was a Managing Director and member of the Investment Committee at VantagePoint Capital Partners. She serves as a board member at TravelersBox, DemystData and Exchange Corporation.
Dr. Winnie Tang
Founder and Chairman, Esri China (Hong Kong) Ltd
Dr. Winnie Tang has been the pioneer in bringing the Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to benefit the public and private sectors in Hong Kong. She has been an active advocate for the use of technology in various sectors including environmental conservation, education and healthcare for a better Hong Kong.Dr. Winnie Tang
is the founder and Chairman of Steering Committee of Smart City Consortium, and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
Benedicte N. Nolens
Senior Director, Head of Risk and Strategy,
Securities and Futures Commission
Bénédicte oversees theFinTech ContactPoint
of the SFC and is also the Vice Chair of the IOSCO Committee on Emerging Risks. She is an active proponent of technology helping financial firms to meet regulatory requirements.
Co-founder and COO, Bitspark Limited
Maxine Ryan is the Co-founder of Bitspark, the world’s first cash in, cash out blockchain remittance platform for money transfer operators and individuals to send Asia-wide. Her startup has won international awards for its innovation in payments and is redeemed as one of the pioneers of the bitcoin/blockchain remittance space. Maxine is an advocate for blockchain technology having consulted and strategized with Fortune 500 companies, FIs, Telcos and Startups in the use case of this game changing technology. Maxine is an international speaker on the topic as well as a mentor to financial technology startups.
Managing Director, SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator
Specializing in digital wealth management and investment products for retail customers, Veronika has over eight years’ experience of working in the finance industry, mostly in global and regional roles within digital product management, and consulting on digital strategy for private banking, regulatory compliance and risk management. Recently, she was leading the in-house build and integration of a stock trading mobile app and a structured products buying journey for HSBC, before joining SuperCharger to help run the most successful FinTech accelerator in Hong Kong and Asia.
Founding Partner, SuperCharger Ltd
Renu Bhatia is also Co-founder of Asia FinTech Angels and President of Prospect Ventures, an angel investment group based in Hong Kong. Renu is an advisor to FinTech HK, and is currently involved with several startups here in HK.
Digital Insurance News Correspondent – Brazil, The
Currently, Isabella is part of a Financial Services M&A team and a startup mentor in two accelerators in Asia (StartupBootcamp FinTech, SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator). Isabella was part of Rocket Internet’s Lazada (acquired by Alibaba) in Hong Kong and the Philippines, where she managed x-border payments across eight countries, significantly reducing costs by using FinTech solutions. She was previously a Strategy Consultant covering LATAM and Europe. She regularly participates in FinTech events across the region, as a judge in startup competitions, moderator and panelist (NextMoney in Malaysia and Hong Kong, General Assembly in Hong Kong, NexChange’s FinTech O2O in Hong Kong, and World FinTech Forum in Korea.
Co-founder, W Hub Ltd
Karena have worked 15 years for Procter & Gamble in various roles in Finance, Sales, Strategy and Management across Europe, North East Asia and Greater China. Responsibilities included financial planning & reporting, product line launches, portfolio management, strategic business planning, organization redesign and Gillette integration. She co-founded W Hub and is deeply immersed in the startups scene and act as speaker, judge and mentor at Polytechnic University Entrepreneurial Mentorship Network, Chicago Booth GNVC, Techstars' StartupWeekend, Google EYE and other various organizations, as well as drives diversity and inclusion as a board member of WOW at the American Women’s Association.
Karen Contet Farzam
Co-founder, W Hub Ltd
Prior to co-founding W Hub, Karen has worked 6 years in Tokyo as JP Morgan exotic equity derivatives trader. She is currently immersed in the Tech Startup Scene as a Front End Web Development instructor at General Assembly, a mentor for several accelerator programs, organizer of Startup Weekend, lead mentor at Startup Next, and Co-founder ofWomen Who Code HK
Head of Innovation and Partnerships, AXA
As head of Innovation and Partnerships, Marine builds local partnerships with FinTech startups mentoring them and lead relationships with local public and private stakeholders in HK.
Kristi L Swartz
Managing Partner, Bryan Cave
Ms. Swartz has experience with SFC and HKEx Listing and compliance issues. She represents clients in Hong Kong in a broad range of industries, such as finance, venture capital, and telecommunications. She is also one of the founders of Hong Kong 30% Club, which pushes for gender diversity in the boardroom.
Bianca is the Co-founder of Clare.AI, with an expertise in business development in technology. Prior to founding Clare.AI, Bianca worked as Business Development Manager at OneSky and Zendesk and Private Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan. She graduated from HKUST School of Business and Management and was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to be a Member of Multi-Stakeholders Advisory Group (MAG) of IGF in 2014.
Founder, Next Chapter Ventures
Nicole Denholder was earlier working on the Global Capitals Market consulting team at PWC. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, crowdfunding and marketing. She has founded Next Chapter Ventures to help female entrepreneurs in HK launch successful businesses and startups. The goal is to build a network of investors and partnerships for female entrepreneurs to gain access to more capital.
Owner, ComplianceAsia Consulting Ltd
Philippa Allen, CEO of ComplianceAsia, has over 30 years’ extensive experience with business and regulation in Asia. Philippa’s career includes a role at Dresdner Bank as Head of Compliance for Asia Pacific. At GT Asset Management, later LGT Asset Management, until its acquisition by Invesco, Philippa took on the role of Head of Legal and Compliance for Asia. Philippa is a frequent speaker at financial industry conferences and technical panels, and a member of various industry representative bodies.
Marketing Manager, ANX International
As marketing manager for ANX International, Amanda overlooks the branding and marketing strategy via events, PR, social media, relationship building with FinTech community stakeholders and content development in multiple languages. Amanda Tung is a core founding member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong.
Manager, Marketing and PR (FinTech), InvestHK
In 2016, InvestHK set up a dedicatedFinTech team
to attract top innovative FinTech enterprises, startup entrepreneurs, investors,
accelerators, incubators and more from all over the world to Hong Kong and assist them in establishing their presence here. Julia is one of the team members in the PR and marketing leads. Before joining InvestHK, Julia worked as press attaché for the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong, then joined HKTDC’sAsian Financial Forum
to manage the publicity plan and marketing strategy. She now leads InvestHK’s promotions on Hong Kong FinTech ecosystem with the dedicated team in Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.
Partner, Asset Management Industry Leader, PWC
Marie-Anne Kong is a partner in PwC Hong Kong’s Financial Services Division and leads the firm’s Asset and Wealth Management Industry practice in Hong Kong. She has over 20 years of experience working in Hong Kong and the UK.
Managing Director, Head of Offshore Product
Ms. Zhou spent over 15 years as an Investment Banker focused on the financial institution sector with Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital and Standard Chartered, in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and China. She has extensive experience in the banking, insurance, asset management and specialty finance sectors.
Hera K. Siu
President, SAP, China
Hera Siu has more than 20 years’ experience in business software and mobile technologies. As President of SAP China, she is responsible for all aspects of SAP China’s operations and growing its solutions in China. She also served 9 years with Pacific Century Cyberworks in HK as a senior VP. Ms. Hera Siu is a newly appointed Director of the Board,Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI)
with a mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.
*This list is in no particular order.
While the above-mentioned female leaders comprise some of the most prominent members of not only Hong Kong but the global professional community, there are certainly more individuals worth paying attention to across industries. Please reach us out at email@example.com to share information about other female leaders in the financial industry and beyond.