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Colin Sanders

Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

I am a highly experienced finance professional, having served as Finance Director in the hospitality, media and security industries. I am currently a consultant covering inter-alia recruitment services in the banking sector  and have met with several thousand contacts over the last few years, to advise them on their careers and offer them inspiring opportunities.

I have been described as “prompt, professional, and personable” by one candidate. A former boss at Haymarket provided the following reference, ” I worked closely with Colin on the development side of Haymarket in Asia . Colin in what were often tricky negotiations in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and India always was a joy to work with his solid financial skills backed by legal experience and local knowledge , he helped to get the job done and i would happily work with him again.”

I enjoy engaging with people from different backgrounds and personalities. I am a good listener, astute and intuitive and have been commended for getting the best out of the people I have worked with either as subordinates, peers or superiors.

For more information – please refer to the LinkedIn Link below:

6 Sessions for $USD 800
12 Sessions for $USD 1500

Banking & Finance (also see Investment Banking & Financial Services)
Hospitality, Leisure, Travel & Tourism
Legal & Judiciary
Media - Online, Television, Radio, Newspapers & Journalism
Security and Investigations

Education: ICAEW Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants BA Hons Law

Languages: English

• Strong awareness and management experience gained as Finance Director/CFO in legal, tax, treasury and regulatory requirements in major Asia-Pacific countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines. • Board director and integral part of management teams, managing product performance and development and assessing business plans and strategies. • Track record of improving financial performance; driving ‘bottom line’ actions; resolving commercial, taxation and legal issues; strengthening internal controls, implementation and enhancement of systems. • Extensive experience in dealing and managing acquisition, joint venture partners and exiting joint venture agreements. • Strong leadership and management abilities, excellent motivator and developer of staff. Highly positive and enthusiastic.

LinkedIN Profile:

Current Company: Sirius Partners Ltd

Current Position: Managing Director

Experience Description: • Managing Director - SIRIUS Partners Ltd. (Apr 2010 - Present) • Finance Director, Asia - Haymarket Media Ltd (Jul 2001 - Mar 2010) • Finance Director, Philippines - Chubb PLC (Apr 1999 - Jul 2001) • SAP R3 Functional Manager - Philip Morris International (Nov 1997 - Mar 1999) • Consultancy Assignment - Sara Beattie Group (Jun 1997 - Sept 1997) • Financial Controller - Claridge's (Apr 1996 - Apr 1997) • Financial Controller - IHG Property Shenzhen (Nov 1994 - Feb 1996) • Internal Auditor - IHG (Aug 1991 - Nov 1994) • Audit Manager - Pannell Kerr Forster (Sept 1988 - Jun 1991) • Audit Supervisor - Geo Little Sebire & Co (Apr 1984 - Sept 1988)

Contact Preferences:
Meet in Person

Other Information:

I left school when I was 16 and after spending 3 years with a merchant bank, realised that I needed qualifications to enhance my chances of career progression.

I subsequently took a full time law degree and having enjoyed commercial law, decided to further my career chances further, especially with a view to travel by working as an articled clerk for an accountancy firm and talking a chartered accountancy qualification. I completed this although it was not easy and post qualification, initially worked for a leading accountancy firm, PKF, in London and Australia before joining Inter-Continental Hotel Group as an internal auditor.

This was a very interesting role as involved checking into a top ranked hotel acting as a guest and evaluating services and paying in cash for 2-3 days before announcing to the hotel management my true identity. Then with the assistance of an intern, we would remain at the property for about a month and perform a full audit of finances, internal controls, IT systems, business strategy and sometimes anything which we perceived as a risk to the group. During my 3 year tenure, I worked throughout Europe (Rome, Athens, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Brussels, London), The USA (Maui, New York, Chicago), Africa (Cairo, Nairobi, Lusaka, Livingstone, The Gabon) and Asia Pacific (Manila, Colombo, Shenzhen, Adelaide, Sydney). I was subsequently promoted to Financial Controller and worked in Shenzhen, leading a team of over 30 young professionals. During my tenure, we were able to significantly increase operating profit despite a flat turnover and cash returns to the owning company. Unfortunately, the owning company terminated the operating agreement with IHG resulting in all expatriates, including myself losing our jobs.

I returned to London for a year and worked as Financial controller at the famous Claridge’s Hotel during a time of change in ownership and management style. Again, I was able to contribute initiatives to save costs, especially during a GBP 42 mill renovation. Wishing to return to Asia, I returned to Hong Kong just before the handover and have subsequently worked in consultancy roles, including at Philip Morris and as Finance Director with the Chubb Group in Manila.

This assignment lasted for nearly 3 years for which I was managing director for my last two months. The group of companies in the Philippines had just been acquired by the Chubb Group and part of the exit arrangements with the former owners was the termination of a major contract for which the former owners would bear the costs. From my first half hour in the accounts office, it was clear that the accounting records, internal controls, were a disaster but apart from the financial controller who was fired, the accounts staff were diligent and were instrumental in assisting myself in putting the records and systems back on an even keel. My achievements in this role were;
– Restructured problematic investment, installing procedures and controls, overseeing redundancies and reallocating costs for indemnification against previous owners.
– Significant bottom-line improvements for 1999 and 2000 due to increased control.
– Involved in processes to acquire new businesses.
– Resolved a myriad of tax and legal issues and negotiated exit and restructuring strategies, including disposals of parts of business.
– Recovered several major bad debts and deposits considered to be irrecoverable.
– Identified and trained local successor for my replacement.

I took the opportunity to return to Hong Kong as Regional Finance Director for Haymarket Publishing Group. I held the latter role for 9 years and my remit covered India, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong. I was instrumental in the negotiations of several joint venture agreements, working with the senior management team of acquired entities as well as exiting non-profitable ventures. I was also able to instill greater financial discipline in the management team and contributed to initiatives to generate revenues or save costs. More specifically;
• Successfully integrated major financial publisher in Hong Kong into the corporate stable, following acquisition over period 2004-2006.
• Shepherded businesses in Hong Kong to profitability in 2005 after a period of sustained losses.
• During recent recession, focal point in business to reduce overheads, without reducing quality of products and services.
• Negotiated joint venture agreement with China based company in 2004 listed in Hong Kong, directing legal and financial advisers.
• Negotiated exit arrangements with joint venture with well-known Hong Kong based publisher in 2004 and was able to negotiate concessions, exceeding expectations.
• Early in Haymarket career, identified exposures in the Singapore joint venture, resulting in considerable savings for the company.
• Led negotiations for exit arrangements with Joint venture partner in China in 2006 and organized closure of operations in China in 2007.
• Initiated installation of new accounting systems and procedures, negotiated office moves, rent renewals, improved contractual relations with major suppliers and sharpened up management reporting.
• Identified areas to save significant amounts of corporation tax in Hong Kong and China.
• In 2009, set up corporate and tax structures for Singapore registered company for newly formed joint venture entity.
Since this time, I have worked as a consultant working in three different areas; firstly in a role as Managing Director of a recruitment firm, secondly providing accounting and finance assistance and thirdly, evaluating and introducing property development and other business opportunities to investors in Asia. With the former role, I have met with and interviewed thousands of candidates, mainly in transaction banking, securities services, risk or compliance roles. Several of my candidates regularly keep me updated and ask me for advice and counselling on their careers, which I am more than happy to provide. I have also represented the Institute of Chartered Accountants in speaking with their students who visited Hong Kong and prospective students and parents at a forum in Chongqing.

I enjoy engaging with people from different backgrounds and personalities. I have been commended for getting the best out of the people I have worked with either as subordinates, peers or superiors.
I have learnt from watching other make mistakes and of course from my own. During the interactions throughout my career, I have also learnt from some of the good people I have worked with on a 360 degree basis, the positive aspects that can be brought to the work place, how to motivate and inspire people especially when times are tough.  I am also experienced in decision making processes, collating and scrutinizing information, identifying risks and concluding on a course of action. I am aware of the importance of business planning, budgets and forecasts to ensure corporate objectives are met.

I have also learned there are times where one has to make a stand and say no and in such cases, where a vested interest or a senior person is being challenged, to ensure there is support or a back-up plan.
I very much look forward to meeting and working with talented mentees who aspire to improve, are ambitious but understand that it is importance of integrity, working in the team dynamic but are also prepared to stand up for what they believe is correct.

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