Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

East goes West – Interview with Martin Lau, Managing Partner, First State Stewart

East Goes West is a series of podcasts focused on the challenge of Asian businesses coming to Europe and the US. Abhay Pande and conducted a series of interview with senior Asian leaders to understand a little more of the cultural complexity that exists across the Asian landscape, recognise the key differences and start to think about what an Asian owner might expect of a European and American  business.

The interviews are about 25-30 minutes long and then there is a 5-10 discussion between Abhay and myself, debating the key learnings from the interview.

Martin Lau was born and was educated in Hong Kong before going to university in the UK where he graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Engineering, He is also a CFA charterholder. He started in the world of engineering in HK but found that the requirements of the job constrained some of his natural curiosity / innovative tendencies.

Martin started his investment career in 1995 at BZW in London as part of their risk management team. He subsequently spent six years with Invesco as a fund manager responsible for the greater China funds, Smaller Companies fund and regional portfolios. He joined the FSSA team in April 2002 and manages a range of China and Asia funds for First State.

Martin’s insights are investment based but interestingly, his primary focus is leadership and corporate culture. In this podcast, he draws some very powerful distinctions between those corporates who have really built a market and a position for themselves in the absence of state support and those who haven’t. He also brings a unique sense of the governance challenge in Asia and provides a fascinating insight into the leadership / decision making structures that are predominant in China and Hong Kong.

Categories: China, Complex transformation, Corporate Culture, culture change, Culture clash, Organisational Structure, Programme Management, Shareholders, Strategy, Transformation

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