Out of the comfort zone

Education | Bonnie Chen 20 May 2019

Lennard Yong, a Malaysian Chinese executive, has bought his first home in Hong Kong, where he believes the best is yet to come.

"Hong Kong is my home. This is the best place that I want to live in," says Penang-born Yong, who has been living in the city since 2011. He has a son studying here and a daughter in Bristol but wants to work in the SAR after graduation.

Despite the skyrocketing home prices, Yong bought one in Tai Po earlier this year.

"Like what Li Ka-shing said, I buy a home to live but not for speculation."

Yong's grandfather moved to Kuala Lumpur from Chiu Chow in Guangdong. As such, Yong can speak several dialects.

After getting a CPA in Sydney, he joined the financial industry. Yong had various roles with ING in Sydney, Hong Kong and Amsterdam for 15 years.

The last role was chief executive for ING Insurance Hong Kong and Macau, which was sold to Richard Li Tzar-kai's Pacific Century Group in 2013.

Yong later joined MetLife Hong Kong as chief executive and then FTLife Insurance before taking up the helm at Tricor.

At that time, FTLife had been acquired by Beijing-based JD Capital, which has agreed to sell it to NWS (0659) end of last year.

Yong says he has learnt a lot especially about the Chinese market although he needed to work seven days a week.

"A Chinese boss opens up your mind and pushes you out of the comfort zone. Joining FTLife is probably one of the best career decisions. Had I not joined FTLife, I may not have become Tricor Group CEO.

"I've been enjoying what I have been doing and I constantly look for change and development.

"Life is short. You should enjoy what you do and dare to take risks, to make a change. Many people are afraid of change and choose to stay in their comfort zone," says Yong, sharing tips for career move.

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