Grace Fung is Partner of Baker McKenzie. In her 2021 Spotlight Series Interview, she discusses what drew her to a career in finance, proud moments in her career and much more.
- Aside from work, what are your other passions?
15 years ago, I started to look into the modern art scene and how artwork can help preserve local heritage (and in particular how artwork can interact with the local community to boost the local economy in rural areas). I joined the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, which is one of the largest international modern art festivals, as a volunteer. Once every 3 years, the Triennial is held in the Niigata prefecture in Japan where there are growing aging and depopulation issues. The concept of the art festival is that “human beings are part of the nature”, and the artwork is created with joint efforts by the local and international artists together with the local community. I had the opportunity to work with various international artists and the local residents during my time as a volunteer and I experienced how powerful this “connection” could be through artwork. In the past years, the Triennial received recognitions worldwide and has successfully “reenergized” the area. In Hong Kong as my hometown, there are also many rural areas with valuable and memorable historical buildings and local culture. I hope to explore opportunities to contribute more to this area.
2. How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how you keep your competitive edge?
In my practice as a lawyer in the Financial Services industry, there had been substantial changes in the recent years. The whole industry has undergone digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed this happening change. There are new products and services everyday and technology makes many impossible things possible. In order to catch up with and stay competitive in this dynamic market, I am always open to trying, using and experiencing new innovations. For example, when I hear about new attractive functions available on a mobile app, I would download and try it out. I believe that we can only offer practical and tailored solutions to our clients if we know in-depth how the products operate in reality.
3. What is one characteristic you would say that all women in finance share?
Women tend to be more willing to express and get deep inside into one’s heart. This can help to establish trust with others, and as they take on leadership roles, this trait can help motivate others to unleash their hidden potential.
4. What drew you to a career in finance? What has motivated you to stay?
Hong Kong is one of the leading international financial centers. Unlike other industries, the financial industry is highly regulated in many respects with the objective to maintain the stability of the industry and to protect the interests of the general public. It is interesting and remains fascinating to me to work in this sector, to be close to the industry and also the changes in the regulatory landscape. I look forward to seeing how the framework will shape and evolve in the new era with blockchain, artificial intelligence and other tech initiatives going mainstream, and be part of the change.