In addition to your role as General Counsel, you obtained your CFA charter and coauthored two core Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) curriculum papers for the CFA program. How did these opportunities come about and what motivated you to expand your knowledge in these areas, which are not traditionally sought after by legal professionals? My motivation for pursuing the CFA charter was that I wanted to push the boundaries of what a lawyer could contribute to an asset management firm and the industry.

The opportunities started when I pitched to the CFA Institute a program designed for non-investment professionals — which has become the CFA Investment Foundations® Program. That experience put me on the radar of the CFA Institute and gave me the opportunity to design and author the CFA’s ESG curriculum. Today I serve on the CFA Institute’s Standard of Practice Council, which is responsible for providing continuous oversight of CFA Institute standards and fostering integrity in the capital markets

What was it like for you as a minority breaking into the legal industry in the 1990s? As someone that was part of the first wave of Asian Americans to enter the legal industry in the 1990s, I was determined to change the perception of what a corporate attorney should look like. I was fortunate to start my career at a large law firm where I was their first Asian American hire and the only person of color hired that year.

Looking back at my significant legal experience, I am most proud of working up the courage to propose an annual minority interview workshop designed to assist minority law students in their upcoming interviews.

As part of your role on the corporate management team, you’re involved in many strategic initiatives for the firm that require creative, out-of-the-box thinking. As an advocate for innovation at MacKay, what do you see as its value? Innovation can mean different things to different people. For me, it’s about fostering an environment where people are willing to try something new and are open-minded to fresh ideas — while learning important lessons along the way.

It is important for innovation to be part of the fabric of our organization so everyone has the opportunity to move the company forward. Some great examples from our legal team over the past decade have been: Document digitization and the adoption of a law firm quality document management system; implementation of fully digital content creation and work flow platforms for the production and global distribution of our marketing materials; and the firm-wide rollout of digital signatures. These efforts resulted in tremendous gains in efficiency, supported our firm’s ability to scale globally, and placed the firm in a solid position to minimize disruptions during the pandemic.

I believe we must continually tap into innovation across MacKay. It’s imperative if we wish to remain relevant to our clients and continue to serve as a trusted partner, especially during these times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

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