What are your current role and responsibilities? How is the work going so far?
I am a Senior Consultant in the Corporate Finance & Restructuring team at FTI Consulting, and we have a diverse portfolio of services for clients across Asia Pacific. Our team specializes in providing financial restructuring services to multinational corporations and assisting lenders, private equities and funds in corporate recovery assignments. We have a strong track record of delivering innovative and market leading insolvency solutions. Our team is also highly engaged in the distressed merger and acquisition landscape, with a dedicated capital advisory practice that has successfully facilitated some of the most complex transactions in the market. Since the implementation of China’s “Three Red Lines” policy, restricting borrowing by property developers, we have supported numerous financial institutions in assessing their credit exposure and guided them in making the right commercial decisions. I am currently in my fifth year working in the field of restructuring, and the experience has been incredibly fulfilling. As a senior consultant, my responsibilities involve leading and managing projects at the operational level, while being supervised by more senior colleagues. Collaboration plays a significant role in my work, as I closely collaborate with multiple junior team members to meet the diverse needs of each project. Additionally, a significant aspect of my role involves addressing specialized financial matters and finding solutions for complex legal issues, and I also frequently engage directly with clients and participate in negotiations with external parties.
What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your role?
Stakeholder management is the most demanding aspect of my job. In a typical restructuring process, numerous parties with individual agendas are involved, making bringing together the parties to a common goal a complex task. Succeeding as a restructuring advisor requires a discerning mindset and confidence in your interpersonal skills. Understanding the ever-changing power dynamics among stakeholders and effectively prioritizing their needs are crucial. This challenge also presents the most gratifying aspect of my role. Guiding restructuring negotiations to successful outcomes brings a great sense of achievement. A well-executed restructuring offers constructive solutions to financial difficulties and delivers favourable outcomes for the majority of stakeholders involved. When contributing significant value to the credit ecosystem, the impact you make is tangible and often public.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned so far from work experience or managers?
I have received great support and guidance from my superiors regarding engagement matters, and they consistently assist me in developing a strategic approach. They value my input on long-term goals and involve me in decision-making processes. This hands-on experience has contributed to my personal growth, making me more mature and reliable. My superiors also possess excellent negotiation skills, which is key particularly in the restructuring and insolvency industry where cooperation with potentially adversarial third parties is common. They have mastered the art of aligning competing interests and achieving “win-win” solutions with stakeholders.
Where do you see yourself in the next five to 10 years in your career?
I’m optimistic about the future of the restructuring industry and intend to continue focusing on specializing in this field. As such, I see myself taking on more senior positions in the sector over the next five to 10 years. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a worldwide economic instability. Currently, the world is in a phase of recovery, necessitating collaboration between businesses and financiers to revive even the historically strongest performing sectors of the economy. The Asia region is expected to offer substantial growth prospects, and I am actively preparing myself by participating in the Institute’s Professional Diploma in Insolvency programme. The programme is jointly led by highly skilled insolvency practitioners in Hong Kong, offering candidates with the opportunity to gain valuable insights from their extensive practice experience. The programme is an excellent means of acquainting yourself with industry-leading techniques, as you receive expert guidance on case laws and precedents throughout the duration of the course. I highly recommend this qualification to anyone interested.
How do you think the Qualification Programme (QP) has helped you in your career so far?
Participating in the QP has significantly enhanced my problem-solving mindset, instilling greater confidence in my ability to navigate commercial challenges. Moreover, I consider financial literacy to be a crucial skill for business students, and the QP has laid a strong foundation in this area. The qualification is highly practical, with the majority of what you learn directly applicable to real-world scenarios, enabling you to excel in your professional endeavours.