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Money in the Metaverse

02 November 2022

Andy Yiu of BOA Financial Group is using his CPA skills to build the future of finance. 



Entrepreneurial mindset


From auditing at a Big Four firm to working in real estate investment to forging the future of financial services in the metaverse, it’s been a varied career for CPA Andy Yiu, head of corporate finance with BOA Financial Group and co-founder of BOAX Limited.


His current high tech role notwithstanding, Andy was originally an arts student, graduating with a degree in English studies and linguistics from the University of Hong Kong. It was there that he first began to be attracted to the business world, and to see accounting as the key to unlocking it.


“During my time as an undergraduate, I participated in a lot of societies, and I found that I’m quite an entrepreneurial person,” he says. “It was just like running a company, and it started my interested in economics and commerce. A senior said to me that accounting is the language of business, and I thought: why not take a course or two and try to find out about accountancy?”


He graduated in 2009, with a plan initially to try to enrol on the graduate trainee scheme of a major conglomerate. He found that such opportunities were in short supply following the financial crash, however – he was able to secure two offers from Big Four firms instead. He then chose PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he started his career working as an auditor.


“I learned that with exposure to auditing and mergers and acquisitions, I could understand more about how corporations actually work; talking to accountants was a fast track to getting used to the commercial world.


“Especially for an arts graduate like me, I would say it was very eye-opening. I needed to travel a lot to Mainland China, and I learned a lot working with companies there. It was very demanding, but as a junior professional, it was a fruitful experience for me both personally and professionally.”


While he was working for PwC, he also studied for the QP, something that he says was a straightforward decision.


“Once I decided to become a CPA, it was quite natural for me as a Hongkonger to join the QP and get chartered in Hong Kong with my native professional accounting body.


“I can still recall the workshops I attended. I found them very helpful: I could connect with my peers in different firms and also with senior accountants who could share not only their knowledge but also their experience.”


He has also completed another degree while working: a Master of Science in Financial Analysis from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.




Mr. Andy Yiu
Head of Corporate Finance with BOA Financial Group
and Co-founder of BOAX Limited

Fintech focus


After PwC, he joined a small local family office focused on the real estate sector, performing research and due diligence on both current investments and investment targets. He followed that with the role of investment director at a Chinese conglomerate, where his job was focused on overseas investment targets.


That led to a position as the CFO of FM Investment Group, a real estate investment and development group with extensive overseas holdings, where his extended role involved helping the company’s founder with everything from strategy and planning to HR.


After a short career break at the start of the pandemic in 2020, he then took on his current role at BOA Financial Group.


“BOA is a fintech-driven financial institution,” he says. “Our strategy is to explore how to use digital assets to provide better services, which is very fascinating to me.


“When I joined, we were still in the development stage, but my boss had a vision. Being a CPA, my skillset is very transferrable, for example corporate finance, strategy, fundraising and so on. With something quite new like this, you need analysis of how to do it. We are learning by doing.”


BOAX Limited, the subsidiary of the company that he co-founded, was originally an NFT marketplace but has grown into something much bigger, with a focus on both digital assets and Metaverse solutions.


“It started as a pilot project in NFTs, looking at how they can be an asset class. But this year the market has been moving really fast, and we moved towards becoming an end-to-end Metaverse solutions provider for our clients,” he says.


He is also a co-founding executive committee member of the PropTech Institute, a non-profit association promoting the property technology community, with which he has been involved since 2018. It began when he was working for companies that invest in physical real estate, but he says there are parallels between property technologies and the technologies that power the Metaverse.


During his career break, he also took the chance to qualify as a certified ESG analyst through the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. “I thought: what kind of knowledge should I acquire? ESG was just coming to prominence, but since then it’s become an increasingly important aspect of business.”



Interview and reporting by Richard Lord