Club of Beijing
Lewis Lui KH-08, co-chair of the Kellogg Alumni Club of Beijing, interviewed Frank Newman, chairman and CEO of The Shenzhen Development Bank (SDB), one of the most profitable commercial banks in China. Newman was an independent director of SDB's board for five months before becoming CEO in early 2005. Lui is an advocate of private investment and a government liaison. Lui talked to Newman about his experience as the only "foreigner" on the senior management team and his leisure activities in China. He shares the following excerpt; to see the full interview, e-mail Lewis at email@example.com.
Lewis: How did you manage the core of SDB's old mission with its new mission? Did you encounter any challenges from the previous local management?
Newman: In our code of conduct, we emphasized integrity, professionalism, customer service, and efficiency. In its first inception, we faced a repelling force from local managers that they were somewhat "ignorant" or "innocent" to these new "code of conduct" rules. Our senior managers had to "walk the talk" on these principles. Instead of "instructing" our staff to follow, we devised a softer approach by convincing them to abide by these rules and (showed them) how they can benefit from following suit. Our last year's financial results proved it works.
Newman also shared his view of China and business: "As China is developing her global financial center in Shanghai, I see lots of opportunities and interesting events that are coming up in the coming decade. China is a dynamic place to work, live and enjoy. It all depends on how you perceive yourself in your own goals. Determination and vision are always in your own hands."