在NTU工作期間，Sheila除了學習商業以外，還被表演藝術所吸引，甚至認為她的職業可能會朝著這個方向發展。由於Sheila在新澤西有家庭，她決定在新澤西州新布倫瑞克（New Brunswick）的羅格斯大學（Rutgers University）攻讀MBA。在新澤西州最棒的地方之一就是它靠近紐約市，所以在她於學習空閒的時候，Sheila可以在那裡欣賞表演藝術，歌劇和看電影。Sheila從藝術中獲得的快樂，抵消了1987年至1989年這段時間在紐瓦克和紐約校園附近“不理想的環境”帶來的影響。Sheila尤其受到格林威治村和曼哈頓下城蘇活區發現的波希米亞藝術文化所吸引。所有這些經歷對她目前在台北的生活產生了重大影響。讓她在從事銀行業30餘年的同時，擔任了過去10年台灣最高表演藝術團體Godot Performing Group的運營顧問。
2.勤奮地接受良好的教育和學習–正如他們所說，天生的天才很少，但是實際上“天才= 10％的好主意和90％的努力再努力” –即便如此，也無法保證成功！
A Private Banking Pioneer with Diverse Interests in the Arts & Music – Sheila Chuang
Upon first impressions, Sheila Chuang, Managing Director & Chief Exclusive Banking Officer of the Taipei Fubon Bank, exudes the confidence and poise that you would expect from someone in such a responsible position. However, as we proceed into our interview, it becomes obvious that Sheila is quite talented with many diverse interests.
“Please tell us about your early life.”
Sheila was born and raised in Tainan, Taiwan, probably the most cultural city in Taiwan. Her parents were both educators – her father was a primary school principal, and her mother was a primary school teacher. She has two older brothers and two older sisters. From her early days in primary school, Sheila was a leader – quite outspoken, and usually the class leader. She can never remember being a shy girl, always outgoing, personable, organizing activities for schoolmates, and a frequent winner of speech contests. In fact, Sheila admits that she rather enjoys being on-stage performing or making presentations; she loves music. When she was in primary school, Sheila was selected as the Student Director of the School Band. Her home town of Tainan was a small, country town, surrounded by farms in those days. Nearly all of the villagers were from the same Chuang family, with its origins dating back some 300 years, to when their ancestors followed the famous General Koxinga from Fujian, China, who crossed the Taiwan Straits to defeat the Dutch garrisons in Taiwan. Sheila remembers growing-up as a “free” country girl, which allowed her to develop a talent for sports; she was part of the school gymnastics team. However, her parents influenced her by giving her an early appreciation and love for art, music and literature. After graduating from Tainan Girls’ High School at the top of her class, she left Tainan for Taipei to attend the National Taiwan University (NTU), majoring in business administration.
During her time at NTU, besides studying business, Sheila was further drawn to the performing arts, i.e., acting, and even thought that her career might take her in that direction. Since Sheila had family in New Jersey, she decided to study for her MBA at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. One of the nicest aspects of being in New Jersey was its proximity to New York City, where Sheila could enjoy performing arts, operas and great movies, when she wasn’t busy with her studies. The joy that Sheila derived from the arts, offset the “less-than-ideal environments” near the campus area in Newark and New York in the period from 1987 to 1989. Sheila was particularly attracted to the artistic, Bohemian cultures found in the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and the SoHo in lower Manhattan. All of these experiences have had a great impact on her current life in Taipei. While she has dedicated more than 30 years of her career to banking, Sheila has also been the Operational Adviser to the Godot Performing Group, Taiwan’s top performing arts group in Taiwan over the last 10 years.
Sheila has two young adult children – a son and a daughter.
“How did you start your career in banking?”
Upon achieving her MBA, Sheila came back to Taiwan to start her career. Paribas, which in 2000 merged with BNP to form BNP Paribas – the leading French bank – offered Sheila her first job in Taiwan. As she relates,
“Various opportunities in Taiwan banking were just taking-off. I was quite excited to participate in the pioneering wave of various new banking practices during the 10-year period from 1990 to 2000. The opportunity to achieve the first deals of their kind in Taiwan was just “too good” to pass up as a fledgling banker. In addition, the financial package offered by banking could support my love for music and the arts.”
It was from her experience with Paribas, that she was able to learn about and begin to appreciate fine wine, and refine her palate, with respect to wine and food pairings, during her many business trips to Paris for the Bank. She left Paribas in 2000 to join Citibank Taiwan just before the merger of BNP Paribas.
The amazing aspect of Sheila’s career is that she never really planned to be a banker, but found that she had certain organizational skill sets and artistic personality, which set her apart from her peers. Her supervisors could see that she was the person that could “get the job” done to a very high standard and loved by her clients! Her career moves have always been “up the corporate ladder”, in a rapid fashion, with few (if any) missteps.
Sheila’s next employment was with Citibank, Taiwan, where she was responsible for creating new merchant banking business in Mergers & Acquisitions and Euro Convertible Bonds. This was a challenge as merchant banking was one of Taiwan’s first ventures into international banking. From these experiences, Sheila’s direction and expertise in the development of “investment banking” was set. She spent 3 years with Citibank.
In 2003, together with a large group of ex-Citi bankers, she moved to the Koo Family owned Chinatrust Bank to develop investment banking franchise. Sheila recalls that this was extremely challenging but exciting work, as with consistent overtime requirements. However, the determination of this group achieved groundbreaking history in the Taiwan Banking industry. Following Chinatrust, Sheila moved to Barclays Capital, when the Barclays launched their Taiwan Branch. She was the head their investment banking for 7 years. In 2012, Sheila went on to lead Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan’s corporate banking business, also for 7 years.
In November 2018, Sheila was invited by Taipei Fubon Bank to build a new private banking business, under the title “Exclusive Banking”. She has been the Managing Director and Executive Exclusive Banking Officer since then. She is also in charge of the investment banking business for Taipei Fubon Bank
“In layman’s terms, what is your outlook of the Taiwan Banking Industry?”
Sheila mentions that Taiwan banking, with respect to international banking, has a bit of a self-imposed conflict, that is tied into a comparatively small but “over-banked” market, together with a delicate and sensitive political environment. Everyone acknowledges that the “heavy hand” of the PRC in Hong Kong has created some opportunities for banks in the East Asia region. Ideally, Taiwan banks would like to be another regional hub for international banking in East Asia, but conversely, Taiwan needs to face political realities, and must open slowly in order to maintain control of the NT dollar and related transactions, while not being overwhelmed with incoming Mainland Chinese funds. She states that Singapore has been the fastest to react to the instability of Hong Kong, and attract International funds, that would have otherwise been invested in Hong Kong. Additionally, the PRC is no longer the inexpensive destination for industrial investments that it once was in the ‘90s and early 2000s. To Taiwan’s credit, with nearly the highest density of banking per population, all 38 Taiwan banks are profitable and capital adequate, which is a testament to the fact that Taiwan banks are mature enough in managing their business and controlling risks. The PRC and the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t really had an adverse impact on Taiwan banking so far. In addition to pursuing profits, banks in Taiwan are also increasingly focused on ESG Risk-related issues (Environmental, Social & Governance risks), which is very positive for Taiwan and its next generations.
“What is your advice to Young People who may be considering Banking as their career path?”
Before we delve into that question, Sheila advises that she has been part of a Student Mentoring Program at NTU for the last 4 years, where she mentors 2 students for a semester, so she is the appropriate person to ask. She herself is still active in many alumni activity clubs, which provides opportunities for recreation, self, development and camaraderie amongst her old schoolmates. She enjoys “creating opportunities for others.” The following are the key ideas that she wishes to advise young people:
1. Understand yourself – What are your interests? What do you excel at? What subjects give you the passion for learning more?
2. Get a good education and study diligently – As they say, there are few natural-born geniuses, but in actuality “Genius = 10% of Good Ideas and 90% of Hard Work and Effort” – and even then, there is no guarantee!
3. Recognize and make the best use of Opportunities presented to you.
4. Passion makes thing happen!
She feels that there are many attractive aspects of Banking that a young person should consider. There will always be a need for bankers, so there are many jobs available. There are bankers of every personality and character type; the banks are such large organizations, that there is room for everyone, as long as you have some talent and are willing to work hard. Since banks are highly regulated environments, any novice in the banking business will have opportunities to learn things that will be useful and employed immediately, as this is a “hands-on” environment. Finally, of the greatest important in the banking industry are (1) the flexibility and a willingness to attempt things that you may initially be unfamiliar with, and (2) a sincere desire to provide good customer service – after all banking is a service industry.
Our interview has flown by quickly, but we are so pleased to have an opportunity to chat with Ms. Sheila Chuang, truly a leader in Taiwan banking!