Heroes Work Here: Jacqueline Shek

08 April 2020

In this edition of the Heroes Work Here, we meet Jacqueline Shek, ZEDRA Executive Director Hong Kong.

Can you tell us about your experience in Hong Kong over the last few months in light of the situation due to the Coronavirus?

We are beginning our 3rd month under BCP here at ZEDRA Hong Kong; but the office remains open and accessible! Many of our clients are fully appreciating their discretionary trust structures. In the past few months we have been able to help our trust clients property acquisition, rebalance their portfolio and make the distributions to arrange necessary payments whilst they are delayed on their travels or their city/country is in lockdown.

At the same time, we have had many good conversations with prospective clients who tell us they are using this ‘time away from the office’ to address their personal wealth and succession plans. We are truly ‘Doing More’ and ‘Deepening Relationships’ during these unusual times.

Personally, it’s been much more insane.  I am loving the online shopping: I’ve expanded from online fashion to online greengrocers. I’m struggling with the schools’ “remote learning.” (It’s blind leading the blind when my kids are dependent on me for IT support and to teach them Chinese literature!).

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born in Hong Kong. I grew up in Australia where I spent 18 happy years and obtained my professional qualifications as a lawyer and chartered accountant before returning to Hong Kong in 2001. I worked at Baker McKenzie and became the youngest person to make partner there when I turned 30. I then got married, and had kids. After a career break that didn’t even last a year, I joined HSBC to look after legal matters for their private trust business. During those years, the ‘offshore world’ in the Caribbean, Channel Islands and the Pacific Islands came alive for me.  Seeing the suffocating regulatory challenges for the financial services industry, I chose to move into the independent trust & corporate services space by joining ZEDRA in 2017.

What inspires you?

My father – he embodied hard work, tenacity, integrity and humbleness. I also love blue skies – I need to see the sunny blue sky to feel energised, and that’s why I chose Hong Kong over London as the city to live in.

What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Be patient. Be confident – everyone else is just winging it too!

Can you tell us a bit about what you do in your spare time?

I love travelling and I unwind by connecting with nature. A day on the beach, sailing in the sea or hiking the hills in Hong Kong would be my ideal Sunday. I also have a long list of places in Europe that I’d love to travel to.

What is the last thing you think about at the end of the day?

We run such a hectic household, the last thing on my mind at the end of the day tends to be “I must remind Nick (my 11-year-old son) to bring his trumpet to school tomorrow for band performance.”

How do you think the industry will change in the next 5 years?

Bank trustees will continue to de-risk and exit the fiduciary space. There will be increased regulatory focus for the industry as private wealth (including Active Wealth) becomes much more influential and impactful in global investment and acquisition activities.