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5 Feb

Yvonne Chai- Adding Color to Asian Banking

Yvonne Chia is a Malaysian businesswoman and banker. She was the first woman in Malaysia to be the Chief Executive Officer of a bank. She was the CEO of Hong Leong Bank. She is currently the CEO of Shell Refining Company in Malaysia.

She started working for Bank of America in the 1970s.  She became Vice President of the Malaysian Bank of America and head of its marketing division. She left after working there for 18 years. She was awarded the CEO Eagle Pin, becoming the first woman in Malaysia to be awarded it. Chia became the first woman to serve as Chief Executive Officer of a bank in Malaysia when she became CEO of RHB Bank in the 1990s. She became the CEO of Hong Leong Bank in 2003 or 2004.

An award winning senior banker, she was named among the ’50 business women in the mix’ in 2013 by Forbes Asia and two-time finalist in the CNBC Asia Business Award. She has been in the ASEAN banking scene, with a focus on Malaysia in the last three decades. Her record of disciplined expansion with a higher purpose of value creation has transformed the value of banks and organization she has led with triple profitability and market capitalization. Demonstrated strong leadership to provide vision, focus and execution to achieve success in start-up, high growth and turn around operations. A proven strategist and influencer/mentor with strong understanding of relationship management to effectively promote and secure business interests and engagement with partners, customers, staff and the community served.

Throughout her journey of personal and professional life, she is always feeling alive, excited, energetic and resourceful. Blessed with tremendous energy, she professes the philosophy of integrated work life; where the mind is focused when needed and adaptive to the nature of the situation. Her experience of learning and changing oneself is a continuous journey. She applies her philosophy to be significant to everything she does. She has been portrayed as a natural and nurturing leader by her peers. She currently sits on the board of several listed companies as well as NGOs.

Until June 2013, she was the Group Managing Director of the Hong Leong Banking Group Malaysia (2003 – 2013); Group Managing Director of RHB Banking Group (1996 – 2002); Bank of America Vice President and Country Head of Marketing (1976 – 1994).

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