Managing a company is no easy task; CEOs always find themselves struggling between restrained resources, the long term development of the company, legal compliance and so on. But what really are the top challenges facing Hong Kong CEOs?
The Hong Kong Management Association partnered with The Conference Board, a not-for profit organization in the USA for public interest, to survey CEOs, presidents, and chairmen across the globe to identify their most critical challenges. Human capital is identified as the most difficult issue faced both globally and in Hong Kong. Operational excellence is tied at the first place in the Hong Kong survey.
Anthony Yeung has been facing the same problem since he started up Quantum China Asset Management back in 2013. “There are opportunities everywhere in Hong Kong, capital is not an issue, the problem is how can you match up your human resources with the development of the company,” he shares.
Managing five non-authorized, open-ended funds with an AUM of US$ 1.5 bn, Quantum is not tapping into the retail market just yet because of a lack of human resources. “Being in the retail market is very different from the institutional one, we need people with strong ethics and a good code of conduct to be in the frontline; and I don’t have enough people at the backend. The professional partners, like legal, accountants and so on have been working so much and a serious lack of training for fund administration experts,” he comments.
Global managers have been trying to combat the problem by utilizing manpower efficiently, like improving productivity through greater leadership effectiveness, building performance culture through measurement and accountability, and providing training to their existing workforce. Hong Kong’s CEOs typically employ customer-centric strategies to fight the problem as well, because they believe it is a fundamental building block for high performance.
Sustainability rose to 5th on the list of challenges facing global CEOs, with priorities revolving around meeting market demand for socially and environmentally conscious products and ensuring that sustainability is part of their corporate brand identity. On the other hand, Hong Kong’s CEOs only ranked the item as the 9th challenge on the list, a lower rating than in China and the region, but also see a need to improve on sustainability measurement and reporting.
While being focused on these macro trends, CEOs from different regions have different concerns at the top of their minds. Chinese CEOs are most worried about financial stability, while Hong Kong CEOs are feeling the bite of wage inflation and difficulties to fill key positions. BM
|Corporate Brand and Reputation||3||6|
|Global Political/Economic Risk||5||9|
|Trust in Business||10||10|
Source: Hong Kong Management Association and The Conference Board CEO Challenge 2015 Survey.