President’s message

 


Dear members, 

Congratulations to Hong Kong’s two Olympic medallists!

Fencing gold medallist Edgar Cheung Ka-long, and swimming two-time silver medallist Siobhan Haughey – who is the daughter of two of our members, Darach Haughey and Canjo Leung. Both medallists have proudly represented Hong Kong on the highest international stage, and shown the excellence and diversity of our people. Three medals means this is now the best Olympics Hong Kong has ever had and hopefully is the start of more medals over the remaining events. Their achievements are inspirational for the next generation of Hong Kong – showing that we can lead the world – and we should seek to emulate them in our working lives.

While the Olympics, like the UEFA EURO 2020 championship in June-July, were delayed by a year, the fact that they’ve been able to go ahead (albeit, with restrictions on attendances) shows that life is adjusting to the COVID-19 situation. Hopefully in the next few months we will return to more normality. I’m sure many of you are ready to travel again, I know I am keen to meet with my clients and business partners.

As well as our sporting stars, this month we are also celebrating the achievements of past and current Council members, and Institute members who were awardees on the Hong Kong government’s Honours List for their distinguished service. Congratulations go to past Council lay member Chow Chung Kong (Grand Bauhinia Medal); Ex-officio Council member Charlix Wong (Silver Bauhinia Star); Institute members Chan Ngai Sang, Kenny, Ho Jock Chu, and Ayesha Macpherson (Bronze Bauhinia Star); and Past President Wilson Fung and past elected Council member Wong Hin Wing, Simon (Medal of Honour).

The Institute has been hard at work since last month’s announcement by the government on its proposal to further reform the regulatory regime of the profession. At the start of the month we held the second members’ forum with the Financial Reporting Council, where speakers discussed how they planned to regulate the profession in the future. A recording of this forum, alongside the first featuring the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau is available on the reform webpage – also launched this month.

As well as the webpage, which brings together relevant information on the proposals and the potential consequences for the Institute and its members, this month we also released a survey. The survey is our way of carrying out wider consultation on the proposal to ensure that all views are collected and considered. I encourage you to take the time to complete the survey so that we can effectively represent them when commenting on the draft legislation and discussing transitional arrangements. There’s not much time left to complete the survey, as it closes on 4 August. If you have already shared your views with us, thank you.

The revamped Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards are open for entries. Now in its 21st year, the awards have seen significant improvements in corporate governance disclosures over the years. This year, the awards have been renamed and refocused this year to reflect the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, and to encourage companies and organizations to integrate the oversight and implementation of their corporate governance and ESG, as well as uplift the standards of disclosure and practices in both areas. You can’t have good corporate governance without good ESG, and you can’t have good ESG without having a good corporate governance structure in place, which is why we have placed increased emphasis on ESG this year.

As the market demands more accurate and reliable ESG information from companies, assurance on ESG reports will become increasingly important in helping to build stakeholders’ trust in the quality of the information disclosed. Please enter your company or organization into the awards by 9 August.

It’s a special issue of A Plus this month, as we focus on the Institute’s five specialist training programmes. Read the two articles, featuring course directors and programme graduates discussing the programmes, how they help specialists to develop, and why specialist training is so important. The Institute offers a wide range of training, in-house and in partnership with others, so please do check out how we can help you to develop in your career.

August would typically be a month off of Council meetings, however this year we have given ourselves so many tasks to complete that we will be holding a Council meeting. As we approach the end of summer and autumn, there’s still plenty for us to be getting on with in order to prepare the profession and the Institute for the future, the results of the reform survey, and how we will work with the government on the implementation of the regulatory reform.

Raymond Cheng FCPA (practising)

President

“Fencing gold medallist Edgar Cheung Ka-long, and swimming two-time silver medallist Siobhan Haughey – who is the daughter of two of our members, Darach Haughey and Canjo Leung. Both medallists have proudly represented Hong Kong on the highest international stage, and shown the excellence and diversity of our people.”

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