Ms Irene Chow Man-ling is Senior China and Hong Kong Equity Analyst at Bank Julius Baer and a Chartered Financial Analyst. She had served on PolyU’s Council for six years, mostly involved in its Investment Committee. With her profound experience and knowledge on the subject, Ms Chow has provided invaluable advice on the University’s finance and risk management, and helped make the best use of public money in view of the volatility of the money market.
As a financial analyst, Ms Chow is fully committed to her job and she takes pleasure in doing it. She felt extremely lucky to have found her life’s passion and have built a career around it. Nowadays in the globalized era, politics, economics, culture and business are closely interlinked. It is essential to keep up with the world’s pace for an insightful analysis of an enterprise. Having experienced the financial crises in 1997 and 2007, Ms Chow believes experience matters most to an analyst. Financial analysis is not just about figures and formulae, but also how investors think and behave at a certain point of time. And one can only tell from experience.
The overwhelming pace of technological advancements in recent years has changed the way people spend and make money. New start-ups operate radically differently from traditional enterprises. That means you can find something new to learn every day. Whenever Ms Chow comes across anything she is not familiar with, she would research, learn and possibly experience it for herself, so as to get a first-hand understanding of the business, explore the reasons and strengthen the analysis. Ms Chow’s strongly inquisitive nature surely helps her excel in her profession.
Ms Chow has been enthusiastic in public services and has held various offices throughout the years. She is now a member of the Appeal Panel (Housing) and Independent Commission Against Corruption’s Operations Review Committee. She was previously appointed members of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Disciplinary Panel, Administrative Appeals Board and Registration of Persons Tribunal. She is also passionate about community service and charitable undertakings, now being a Committee Member of The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Chairman of The Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong’s Youth Committee, and a director of Chow Mun Sum Tong Foundation and The Legal Education Fund.
Chairman Chan, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,
I am most grateful to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for conferring on me this University Fellowship. This is not only an honour, but also an identity allowing me to continue my connection with this higher education institution. I am delighted and deeply honoured.
My association with PolyU began when I was appointed a member of the University Council in 2010. I can still remember the time when I first went to Core M-Li Ka Shing Tower for meetings and met some other new Council members. I was as excited as a year-one student getting to know the new classmates on the first day at school. Six years passed so quickly, and when my term of office ended, I felt like a graduate and was unwilling to leave.
In those six years, I had the honour to work with fellow Council members, professors and staff members and they have helped broaden my horizons. I have also joined some University activities, and many of which are unforgettable.
In May 2013, on the fifth anniversary of the Wenchuan magnitude-8 earthquake, together with some representatives from the University, I attended the opening ceremony of the Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction jointly established by Sichuan University and PolyU. It is the first institute in China dedicated to research and professional training related to the “prevention, mitigation” of natural disaster and “post-disaster reconstruction”. Furthermore, we stayed in the mountainous areas of the Yingxiu Town and Jinbo Village to observe how PolyU guided its students to take care of the local vulnerable groups. They learn to serve, serve to learn.
In December 2013, I had the opportunity to join another University delegation to Xichang Satellite Launch Centre to witness the launch of the Chang’e-3 lunar probe with the PolyU-developed Camera Pointing System carried on board. This sophisticated space tool is the first Hong Kong-made and developed instrument deployed for China’s lunar exploration programme since its launch in 2007. Watching the rocket blast off from a short distance, for me, was a moment of exhilaration.
PolyU’s motto is “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind” and I share the same aspiration. I firmly believe that the purpose of learning is not only for personal growth, but also for contributing towards the betterment of society.
To me, the honour of the University Fellowship is more than a recognition. It is a reminder. It reminds me to continue to serve the University and the community at large.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank my sister and brother for their unfailing support over the years. Last but not least, I want to thank my mother in particular. You are my role model and because of you, I become the person I am today.
Thank you very much.