Hong Kong born banker Irene Chu has a wardrobe filled with designer pieces and power outfits. Sophisticated and stylish, Chu works in the compliance division of her financial firm and has lived in the US and Canada before relocating back to Hong Kong. Her look is feminine and formal, but she keeps things fun by adding statement pieces and accessories that command attention. We caught up with her to chat about style, what inspires her and life in the Hong Kong fast lane.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and went to the UK for boarding school at age 14. Since then I have been in and out of HK, between Canada and the US and finally moved back to Hong Kong at the end of 2003. I’ve been working in the Finance industry since I graduated. It’s a fast-paced, highly competitive environment and many people cope with the stress by late night partying. Since I moved back to Hong Kong I picked up road running and trail running and it had a great positive impact on my health and mind.
The most rewarding part about your job and how you make a difference…
I am responsible for the Compliance division for Asia at my firm. In short, I ensure people comply with regulations and our company’s policy.
I enjoy working with very smart and talented people. I also enjoy the exposure I get, and getting involved with many deal and non-deal related matters.
Describe your style…
On weekends depending on what i feel like, I can be feminine, hip or daring.
A quote that inspires you…
Change your attitude, change your life.
What makes you feel absolutely fabulous.
Best advice you’ve been given…
You are responsible for your own actions and inactions.
Most important lesson you’ve learnt…
On average for every mistake you make, you need to accomplish 10 good things for people to forget the one mistake you made. Be very careful what you put on emails, they serve as permanent records.
What do you think are the keys to success in finance?
Always be diplomatic when dealing with office politics. Don’t fight every battle, and if you do and win – kill with a smile.
Remember your career will always have ups and downs. When you’re on the rise, grab the opportunity and get as far as possible. But understand the sun doesn’t shine every day and when the luck turns, your mind and spirit should lift your head up. Try to analyse the situation and know who are your supporters and make the best out of the situation.
Every women should…
Always maintain close relationships with your best friends. They are just as important as your boyfriend or spouse, kids and family.
What does your work wardrobe consist of mostly?
I love one piece dresses as I don’t have to mix and match the top with bottom and dresses are more feminine.
A style mantra…
Pay attention to details when it comes to matching the “entire outfit” including your accessories.
Where do you shop?
- Vivienne Tam
- Kate Spade
- Beatrice De Souza
- Button Hole (on Staunton Street)
- Diane von Furstenberg
3 books that have inspired you…
- Not without my daughter
- It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari