• Celebrating 30 Years in Hong Kong

Celebrating 30 Years in Hong Kong

In this interview on the occasion of Trident Trust Hong Kong’s 30th Anniversary, our Hong Kong MD, Mark O’Sullivan, discusses what makes the company stand out from its competitors, and the challenges and the opportunities that have helped the company grow.

The definition of success

The foundation of our business, and our greatest asset, is our people, so the secret to our success is retaining the right people. The right people have the right cultural fit within our company – they are here on a long-term basis to build a career at Trident Trust and to sustain a long-term relationship with our clients and our intermediaries. This is my definition of how we are successful.

Independence is what sets us apart from our peers

We believe that independence is a core feature of our long-term success. We are one of the very few truly privately held global businesses in our sector both globally and especially here in Hong Kong, which means that the company is owned by people who also personally run the business. This is very important as we are not under the same financial pressure as other competitors may be. We are uniquely positioned to offer our clients a stable and personal relationship that will not be compromised by conflicts of interest, short term transactional and financial priorities or changes in ownership. This has also had a very positive impact internally, as there is no pressure for short-term performance from the Group’s global management. This makes an enormous difference, as we can focus on delivering the best service possible to our clients.

Investing in technology

Along with the human capital, technology is critically important to our business from both a workflow perspective and from a risk mitigation perspective. Technology is an enabler and as such it plays a key role in all the service areas of our business. For that reason, we invested – and keep investing - heavily in technology to create operational efficiencies for our clients and ensure our services keep up with the rapid pace of development in the global financial services industry.

Our biggest challenges

Keeping our people engaged and motivated especially in difficult circumstances (let’s think about the global pandemic) is always a challenge. Keeping ourselves up-to-date with the latest trends in the market is challenging too. But also, reinventing ourselves, introducing process improvements and optimising the way we operate are all challenges, albeit exciting ones. We do this in a very risk conscious way, and as much as we are keen to embrace change and explore new opportunities, we follow very strict compliance and risk protocols at the same time.

Partnering with the intermediaries

We believe in building long-term and sustainable relationships with third parties, as this is an excellent way to learn from one another and work together to offer the best possible solutions and services to our mutual clients. We are very selective when choosing business partners, and we only work with parties we fully trust. We understand the importance of building long-term relationships with other experienced and like-minded professionals, as it is only through healthy collaborations that we can offer the highest level of service to our clients. Ultimately, our success goes hand in hand with the success of our partners and together we work for the same end goal, which is the satisfaction of our clients.

Trident Hong Kong’s offering and the China market

For a very long time, we were very well known for the provision of corporate services and the management of offshore companies, and less well known for our trust services and fund services in Hong Kong. On the back of a longstanding corporate services business, we have now built a world class trust and funds business and we are now broadly recognised as a market leader across all three service lines, having been particularly successful in expanding and growing these businesses with a key focus on China.

China is a critically important market, and our China business has seen exponential growth. Thanks to the hard work of the whole team in Hong Kong over the past few years, we are now recognised as one of the most respected trust companies in this market. Since Chinese clients are very fast paced and can be very demanding, efficiency and communication are the two most important factors for success. In addition to that, nurturing the relationships locally, building a physical presence in China and having a good understanding of the local circumstances are proving key to penetrating this market.

I'm incredibly proud of what we have done so far and how hard we all have worked to get to where we are. I want to thank our amazing team and business partners, both past and present, as we all achieved this together. I am looking forward to many more – hopefully even more successful – years!