PracticeConsultingA week in the life … Norman Lyle, Jardine Matheson.

A week in the life ... Norman Lyle, Jardine Matheson.

Jardine Matheson finance director Norman Lyle manages to meet up with investors, clients, analysts and joint venture partners in a packed week that takes him to Shanghai, Hong Kong, London and Paris.

His work brings him enormous variety – an IT conference, a board meeting, cocktails and dinner with his clients. On his return he recharges with a weekend of horse riding followed by hiking on the Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong.

Monday

Feeling refreshed, having just returned from a family holiday to Kenya (where I was based for a period), and ready to focus on the many varied issues that will arise in the coming week. Meet with fellow directors to review issues around the group. Spend the rest of the day immersed in meetings related to a potential hotel investment in the US and an infrastructure investment in China. Take junk over to Po Toi Island for dinner at a seafood restaurant with clients.

Tuesday

Open group IT conference and then off to Shanghai for board meetings and include some sightseeing in a spectacular and rapidly changing city.

Draft a CIMA presentation on ‘The role of the finance director: turning strategy into reality’ on the plane back to Hong Kong.

Wednesday

Meet with colleagues at Jardine’s airport services business at the new Hong Kong airport, Chep Lap Kok. Jardine now operates the centralised load control for all BA flights across Asia. Watched the load allocation for the Beijing/London flight being agreed with the pilot real time (The power of technology!). Spend the evening at an Asia Society dinner listening to George Soros speak on hedge funds and the global economy.

Thursday

Attend a string of meetings to ensure analysts, shareholders and bankers understand our strategy and the underlying businesses, which range across property, hotels, supermarkets, car distribution, insurance, financial services and infrastructure. Attend a cocktail reception to meet the Asia Youth Orchestra and leave for airport to catch overnight plane to Paris.

Friday

Morning meetings in Paris with joint venture partners in French investment, fly to London for afternoon meeting and back to Hong Kong for a relaxing Sunday horse riding in the New Territories and hiking on the Dragon’s Back at Shek ‘O on the east of Victoria island. Very like Scotland but with better weather.

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