Foong Pik Yee
Monash University alumna Foong Pik Yee’s (MBA 1990) passion for numbers started as a young girl.
Her ability to master mathematics came naturally and by the time she was sitting in a university lecture theatre, she dreamed of nothing more than spending her working life preparing financial statements.
More than 30 years later this love of mathematics has seen Ms Foong work around the world, holding positions in top banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, and Lebanon. She is now the Chief Financial Officer for one of the biggest banks in Malaysia and a shining example of what women can achieve in the financial sector.
After graduating with a commerce degree from the University of Melbourne in 1980, Foong Pik Yee started her career working in auditing at a ‘big 4’ bank in Singapore.
After two years, she returned to Australia to pursue her chartered accountancy qualification. She worked in accounting and finance positions for various banks in Melbourne for the next 13 years, studying part time at Monash alongside her husband for her Masters of Business Administration.
An offer to head up business finance at Kuala Lumpur’s Standard Chartered Bank was too good to refuse and for the next 19 years Ms Foong held senior positions across the bank’s Asian markets including that of the Chief Executive Officer in Lebanon. She returned to Malaysia in 2013 to take on the role of Chief Financial Officer of Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB) – one of the largest banks in Malaysia.
“My role at HLB is widely encompassing – from helping the CEO to drive sustainable and profitable growth of the business, to financial and regulatory reporting, managing cost efficiency, investor relations and above all, delivering value to our shareholders,” Ms Foong said.
“There are many challenges. But my early career mentors and my late father always encouraged me to take these challenges head on with energy and passion. I enjoy working with people, helping my team grow, and being able to develop talent through collaboration with business schools and universities.”
Foong Pik Yee’s goal now is to use her skills and knowledge to contribute back to the community.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my career,” Ms Foong said.
“I have been given the opportunity to indulge my love of travel, discover new places and be exposed to cultural diversity in so my countries while doing something that I have loved since I was a little girl.
“I want to share what I’ve learned by working with universities and accounting bodies to help students translate their academic learning into practise.
“Above all, I want to be a good role model for women pursuing a career in the financial sector, especially for my daughter who is following in my footsteps and studying Commerce and Law at Monash’s Clayton campus.”