Henry Han: Lawyer Turned Fintech Specialist
Using his knowledge as a lawyer, Henry Han has assumed high-ranking positions across different industries from transport to consulting and finance.
When Henry Han graduated from Wuhan University of Technology with a Master’s degree in law in 2005, he gained the knowledge in the laws of contract, corporate, economic, commercial and commercial real estate. He did not expect his career path to extend into diverse industries such as transport, consulting, and finance. We had 15 minutes to find out how he juggled multiple skills while ensuring he stayed true to his goals in life.
With Singapore being a regional hub for Fintech events, the world will witness the necessary evil of a disruptor — Cross-border E-payment. With the strengthening of China and Singapore ties, this Fintech system will be beneficial and essential because it will integrate RMB foreign exchange sales, cross-border remittance, balance of payments declaration, account information checks and other functions. With the ongoing global pandemic, this fintech process of allowing businesses to expand to local markets, eschewing the traditional payment methods of paperwork.
For example, Han was the key initiator of two projects: Posting Office Savings and Cross-Border E-payment service. The former helped to foster cooperation between ICBC and overseas governments in the field of intelligent government affairs. Furthermore, it also enabled the bank to break its bottleneck of working with local enterprises and Han even won the “2020 Special Award for Major Project Promotion-Savings Project” by ICBC Macau.
Being a key person in-charge of the Cross-Border E-payment service, Han created a new scene of cross-border bank-school interconnection. Four local institutions are now enrolled under the project and facilitation of payment can be done under two minutes, which effectively solved the problems of difficult cross-border payment, cumbersome exchange procedures and high handling fees for mainland students studying in Macau.
Tell us how you got to where you are now.
Well, I began my career in 1997 as a structural engineer for Jiangxi Architectural Design and Research Institute. The work mostly encompassed working on proposals, contract documents, evaluating industrial applications, attending bid meetings, and working on project kick-offs.
That led me to join another company called Ricacorp (Macau) Properties as Senior Account Manager and Regional Director Assistant in 2006. I spent six years there managing cross-functional teams and stakeholders in account vision and business delivery. I helped leverage relationships to grow business partnerships and optimised them for shared goals. It was very rewarding to present the best in-house practices and client success stories to other businesses in the similar industry. But in 2012, I joined Jones Lang LaSalle Limited as an Investment Manager and Administrative Assistant. With a little bit of help from information technology, I was able to use the system to identify prospects and developed their consultative selling approach to become experts at profiling. This helped to increase the productivity of the licensed branch personnel through increased delivery and distribution of traditional banking and investment products and services.
Fast forward to the present, I’m presently working for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited. It has been an enjoyable and rewarding. My most illustrious time was being entrusted by senior management to serve as the Secretary-General for the company. I helped to establish the ICBC Macau Youth Association, which gained widespread influence and support from political and business leaders, and it received the 2021 Special Award for Social Influence Prize. My work was recognised, and I was awarded the Excellent Employee of the Year 2020/2021.
When was your most challenging points in your career path?
I would reckon it was my tenure at a law firm in Beijing from 2013 to 2015. It was then that I flexed my prowess in law as a Paralegal specialist. I helped to achieve in-demand status amongst paralegal colleagues, and I was personally requested by senior partners to manage very complex, deadline-driven matters. I also assisted attorneys in the timely drafting and filing of legal documents and correspondence supporting case preparation for court appearances, hearing, trials and meetings.
However, my four years spent at Fortune International Investment Immigration Consulting Co. Ltd as the Co-Director and Executive Officer was equally memorable. Based in Macau, I had to oversee all aspects of the Visa and Immigration Service and ensured all information provided by clients was accurate, complete, and correct. I also had to prepare and review all legal documents while supervising the completion of all relevant visa and immigration documents to ensure that they were received within the time limit set by the law.
What guidance can you share when you speak to young would-be lawyers should they ask you for career tips?
That’s a good question. I guess, it’s always to keep your mind open and seek opportunities. It pays to be well read in the industry. Try to read more about the corporate law industry and stay updated about the trends. It’s important to have your goals in your early career. Goals are like carrots to me; it’s rewarding when you achieve something you fought very hard for. Being ambitious is good but having the right people to support you in life is also important. I would also say to fledglings in the law industry, “Don’t ever give up! Keep your eye on the prize and work really hard.”
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