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American Appraisal values each staff

Published on Thursday, 15 Mar 2012
Patrick Wu
President and managing director, American Appraisal China
Photo: Berton Chang

In business for the past 37 years in Hong Kong, American Appraisal China (AAC) offers a stable working environment for those interested in valuation - the art of establishing the value of real estate, industrial plants, financial assets and even entire businesses.

"If you are starting a new career, we provide you with the opportunity to develop your expertise," says Patrick Wu, president and managing director of AAC. "If you are an established professional, we present you with challenges that will allow you to contribute to your fullest."

As part of the independent, employee-owned 110-year-old American Appraisal Associates - the world's longest-serving and largest private valuation company - the Hong Kong unit provides multi-disciplined valuation services primarily to locally listed companies and multinationals wishing to enter China.

It also works with the four offices of its Chinese counterparts that take care of business sourced within China - mostly local companies wishing to invest overseas. 

The company covers a wide range of valuation and consultation for various purposes, from pre-deal advisory for companies wanting to buy, invest or merge, to valuations supporting litigation.

Wu says they are expanding their valuation teams to cover fast-growth industries such as energy, telecommunications, hospitality, healthcare, education and extracting industries, including mining.

A valuation job includes on-site data collection, management interviews, financial modelling and report writing. Applicants must be fluent in English, Cantonese and Putonghua. 

The valuation specialist has to liaise with clients, auditors, investment bankers, lawyers and others for due diligence and marketing.

Applicants should be able to get on with people on the client-side - as well as within the team - and have good listening, communication, negotiation and presentation skills.

They must be able to extract the right information, and have to be able to explain why they arrived at a certain valuation result. 

Qualifications are important, even for junior positions, as AAC's units have specific requirements. "For real estate, we seek someone with a chartered surveyor qualification, and locally licensed," says Wu.

"To valuate plant machinery, we need someone with an engineering degree, [while] for financial valuations, we need people with financial or accounting backgrounds and qualifications such as a CPA, a CFA or an MBA," Wu adds.

Although the company often sub-contracts parts of an overseas investigation to its international counterparts within the group, travelling is often required.

There is also the opportunity to participate in work rotations and be based in Beijing or Shanghai, while colleagues from China can work in Hong Kong.

The firm provides continuing professional development training and sponsors staff to obtain professional qualifications by paying tuition and examination fees, as well as annual dues for relevant memberships.

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