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A list of listings

01 July 2019

Equipped with the skills gained from the QP, Christie Leung of Hutchison China MediTech has worked on a series of IPOs

 

Learning fast

 

Mainland China focused pharmaceutical company Hutchison China MediTech, which is owned by the Hong Kong based holding company, is currently dual listing on two separate stock exchanges and in the progress of the third listing in Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the company’s Senior Finance Manager Christie Leung has worked on two of its IPOs, on Nasdaq and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

 

Leung joined the company in 2015 after seven years working at EY, before which she majored in accountancy at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she graduated at the top of the graduating class of 2008 . She says that she wanted to be an accountant because of the integral nature of the profession to the business world . “I knew that every company need s accountants. Accountants take a comprehensive assessment of company s financial position and create a forecast throughout the year to keep the business at a healthy, prosperous state.

 

She worked at EY first as an auditor and subsequently in a management role, with multinational clients in the US and China . The early years, as she recalls, were demanding but Those times were really hard but you could learn a lot of things. I was interested in working at EY because I had interned there one summer, and I liked the team spirit; it’s a people company. I knew that working at a Big Four firm would be tough . You need to do a lot of paperwork and follow the audit procedures but you could learn a great deal. For instance you can visit clients’ factories; you can explore, even if you’re quite junior. And you can learn soft skills when dealing with clients.” She adds that she is still friends with many of her clients from those days and one cosmetics company still sends her samples.

 

“When I moved up to manager, there was quite a lot of managerial work, plus negotiating with clients and allocating staff which could be challenging at a Big Four firm because the turnover is high Making contingency plans is very important. You don’t only need technical skills but you also need management skills.”

 

During her early years at the firm she studied for QP, and she says that the strongest point of the programme is its structured training and examination format. “The open-book examination tests your practical skills as well as your technical skills. You can google standards, but you have to be able to apply them to real life scenarios, so I think QP is really good in its approach. The comprehensive training of QP provides a wide range of skills that helps me to excel in the profession.”

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Miss Christie Leung
Senior Finance Manager, Hutchison China MediTech Limited

 

Back to school

 

When she moved on to Hutchison China MediTech the company was already listed on London’s AIM, and was preparing for a second listing on Nasdaq; it started trading on Nasdaq in 2016. She says the opportunity to work on the IPO triggered her interest in the job.

“I wanted to explore outside, the commercial world, and learn how to run a business – and of course I wanted to change my work-life balance. Hutchison is a very well-known company, I had SOX and USGAAP experiences at EY, and Hutchison was doing a U.S. IPO, which attracted me to join the company. At many occasions at EY I simply reported to the U.S. EY primary team, but this was more challenging.”

She then had another opportunity to work on an IPO, when the company decided to pursue a third listing, this time in Hong Kong, with the preparation of the prospectus completed in April 2019. Working on all those IPOs made her decide, 10 years into her career, to go back to university. She is now studying at The University of Hong Kong for a Master of Law in Corporate and Financial Law, focusing on compliance with Hong Kong listing rules and regulations, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, contract drafting and financial dispute resolution. Her course will finish in May 2020. “I sacrificed my leisure time to go back to university, but I really enjoy studying, and HKU law school is famous. I like the discussions with my professors and classmates, who come from a variety of backgrounds.”

She qualified as the Institute’s member in 2012 and also gained recognition as a CPA in the U.S. in 2017. Thanks to the globally recognized QP qualification and strong links between the Institute and its U.S. equivalent - the AICPA, she only had to complete one additional paper for being recognized. Leung is currently on the Institute’s Young Member Committee, organizing events ranging from social events to business visits. “I like providing members with activities,” she says. “I want to promote my profession. Most people think that accountancy is boring. I had the same thought – that you just sit in front of a computer. But now it’s different – accountancy can mean a lot of career opportunities.” Interview and reporting by Richard Lord

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