From toys and printing to global IT at Marsh
Victor YH Pang worked in the toy manufacturing and printing industries before joining the financial sector. He has worked as a project and change management professional in operations and technology for industry giants such as HSBC and JPMorgan.
In 2009, Pang was appointed regional director of business transformation and information technology at the HSBC insurance brokers APAC, later acquired by Marsh, a world-leading insurance broking and risk consulting firm. Pang is now vice-president for global information technology for North Asia at Marsh (Hong Kong). He talks to Wong Yat-hei about his job
What’s your academic background?
I have a higher diploma in manufacturing engineering from City Polytechnic of Hong Kong [now City University, or CityU] and then pursued a part-time bachelor degree at CityU.
How do you start your day?
I begin with a home-made breakfast to fuel myself for the day. Meetings and conference calls with business partners, staff and external vendors in the region, and handling e-mails make up my daily routine to-do list.
I try to finish work by around 6pm and spend time with my family every night, but sometimes I have to take business calls late at night.
What does your job entail?
I look after a portfolio of business applications, build a stronger rapport with business partners and strive for a higher IT performance. I am also responsible for developing the team to handle new challenges and initiatives.
What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?
Technical knowledge and resource management are two of my biggest challenges. My profession is all about project and change management, so I have to update my knowledge in technology constantly. This inspires me to keep learning new things and be equipped for new challenges.
Resource management, similar to other management positions, is always a key success factor for delivering work on time with high quality and the right personnel. I have spent a lot of time lobbying various stakeholders and sponsors to prioritise projects and allocate resources wisely so as to maximise benefits for the company
What are your plans?
For the time being, my primary objective is to do the job right to deliver the best service to Marsh. As a long-term career plan, I would be keen to take up a role with broader exposure and accountabilities in Asia. I plan to become a chief operating officer one day.
Any advice for those who plan to enter your industry?
There are five factors that can turn a person into a successful IT project manager. First is attention to detail – do not only hear and see, you also need to try things out yourself at least twice to see how things work. Second, be well-organised, as tasks need to be well prioritised. Third, communicate effectively – talk and listen to others proactively, and ask questions, even for a small clarification. Fourth, be a team player – work with and respect your business partners. Finally, learn continuously to equip yourself with the latest technologies and market news.