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Financing the Future

12 January 2023

The QP has been key to Kaiser Wan’s path into key roles in the investment banking industry



Risk and Reward


The skills Kaiser Wan acquired as a CPA have stood him in good stead for his career in the investment banking industry, he says, most recently as the vice president of a major Chinese investment bank.


“My accounting experience helped me a lot. When I changed to banking, I had to cope with financial due diligence requirements, and I found that I picked it up quicker than my peers.”


Kaiser studied finance for his degree at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with a focus also on information systems. He decided to pursue accountancy as a career after taking some accounting courses as part of his degree.


His first job, at PwC, was within the Big Four firm’s consultancy division, as a risk and control solution associate. The role involved conducting tests on IT systems, and required some quite sophisticated technological skills, which is also an area of interest for him.


“I’m interested in information systems and financial technology, as I picked up a bit of coding during university study” Kaiser says. “I did some basic work on internal controls, but I also had exposure within cybersecurity.”


During his time at PwC, he was seconded to the firm’s Financial Services Practice Associate. “It required quite a different skillset. There was some common knowledge about internal controls and the logic behind them, but I had to learn the operation of the companies’ accounting function, and the rationale of the substantive testing behind.”


Kaiser studied for QP while working at PwC, where he did a conversion course first as a non-accounting graduate, taking advantage of the support provided by the Big Four firm. The decision to do so was an easy one, he says. “Getting a CPA qualification can be a huge boost to your career development, and certain jobs require a CPA qualification, for example, the chairmanship of the audit committee of listed companies in Hong Kong.”

Kaiser Wan

Mr. Kaiser Wan
Vice President of a major Chinese investment bank

Making a Difference


After two years at PwC, Kaiser decided to leave the Big Four world and explore other spaces in the finance industry. His first job was as an Assistant Manager for boutique financial firm Quam Capital Limited, specializing in fundraising, IPOs and M&A.


“My main duty included advising client on corporate finance action in terms of listing rules requirement, and the execution of these actions” he says.


Kaiser found that he enjoyed the work for its forward facing, creative nature, such as getting a company listed, or completing a M&A transaction, which create value for the company and the shareholders.


After three and a half years at Quan, he moved on to Mainland Chinese banking giant Bank of Communications Limited, again specialising in IPOs, and acting as a key liaison with regulators. He says the culture was very different, moving from a boutique, Hong Kong based firm over to a state owned enterprise in Mainland China, with the new job also giving him much a broader range of exposure on a bigger scale.


This was followed by another stint in the world of boutique finance, where he further broaden his experience, he adds, by taking on more business development work.


In late 2021 Kaiser joined a Chinese investment bank with a bigger team.


In his spare time, Kaiser is committed to doing his part in furthering the accounting industry as a committee member of the HKICPA’s Young Members Committee – a role he has undertaken since 2012. He was promoted to the chairman of the committee in 2022


“I’ve been a member of the committee for a long time,” he says. “There’s a lot of history. I’ve made a lot of friends through it; we all go out together. Some of them have become Legislative Council members, partners in Big Four firms and CFOs. The most important thing is that we do things for young members: networking events, forums and webinars, so we can keep them aware of developments and give them opportunities to mingle with fellow CPAs. I’ve found it to be a very rewarding journey.”


That’s not his only voluntary commitment. Kaiser is also a member of the Accounting Professional Committee of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation Promotion Association, becoming involved through friends he works with on the Institute’s Young Members Committee. He is also the Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area. “I help them to do some accounting,” he says. “It comes from the fact that I want to do volunteer work if I have the time and resources to do so.”



Interview and reporting by Richard Lord