Professor Alexa Lam, JP speaking on the occasion of her induction as an Honorary Fellow (20 October 2016)
John (Mr John Maguire, Chairman of HKSI), KC (Professor KC Chan, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury), Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am honoured to be here tonight at your annual dinner in the cultural palace of the Asia Society, to be among old friends and familiar faces.
When I retired from the Securities and Futures Commission in February last year, my status suddenly changed. As soon as people heard that I had retired, they treated me differently, with the warm deference that our community accords to old people. They got up and gave me their seats on the MTR, they would insist on carrying my bags for me, and cautioned that I should hold onto handrails when I walked down the stairs!
When the Hong Kong Securities and Investments Institute called and asked if I would accept their award of honorary fellowship, my first thought was: “Oh no, even the HKSI has decided to put me into their Hall of Age!”
Thanks to the Internet, I quickly realized that among the Institute’s Honorary Fellows are those who have made real and significant contributions to Hong Kong’s financial sector. I am very much humbled by the privilege of joining them.
The Institute’s mission is to set and promote professional standards of excellence in Hong Kong’s financial services industry through exams and professional qualifications, training and development programs. In my view, the Institute has done just that, and more.
Throughout my career at the SFC, the Institute was a crucial partner. They gave me a neutral platform to build industry support for securities market law reform after the Asian Financial Crisis. The Securities and Futures Ordinance ushered in a new licensing regime. The Institute spared no effort in creating a quality licensing exam. We introduced continuous professional training requirements to improve standards. The Institute was the first one to come through with comprehensive training courses to help the industry meet global standards. Through the years, as we created new types of regulated activities – type 10 for credit rating services, and 11 and 12 for OTC derivatives trading and clearing, the Institute produced new licensing exams for these new types of licenses. And it was the Institute that I turned to when we wanted a platform to launch new market initiatives. It was in the Institute’s conference room where I shared with the market exciting breakthroughs such as the RQFII and mutual recognition of funds.
There were of course difficult moments – I recall the occasion when I remarked that exam questions could not have been so difficult to set. After having been with the Law Faculty of The University of Hong Kong in the last year, I can now see that setting good exam questions, and marking them, is not easy!... Click here to download the full speech.