Darren Chan CA
Financial controller for CSL Limited in Hong Kong
Corporate Finance Manager at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong
What is your current role?
I’m the Corporate Finance Manager at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong here in Hong Kong. Part of it is looking after the financial side of the business, and the other part is really commercial, being a business partner to the business head and helping them make the best commercial and financial decisions to run the business well and reach company targets.
How did you get to where you are today?
After completing four years in Melbourne with Deloitte, and completing the Chartered Accountants Program, I came to Hong Kong. I didn’t have a job lined up. I just showed up and thought I’d test my luck. I got my first role with the Walt Disney Company as a financial analyst, and in the three years I spent with them, I learnt a lot about the commercial aspects of finance and how that works with the business, especially things to do with messaging and how to manage different stakeholders.
After that, I worked in more of an entrepreneurial environment with Integrated Hospitality Management and that really got me on my feet, having to use all the skills that I’d learnt to date and apply them to the role. Then, after a couple of years in the entrepreneurial environment, I landed the Financial Controller role with CSL, and now I am at Jardine Matheson.
How has being a CA helped/changed your life?
I think being a Chartered Accountant definitely helped me to get where I am today by enabling me to have an open mind, and enabling me with many tools, on both the soft side and the technical side, to be able to take on all the challenges that I face day to day.
One of my career highlights has definitely been moving overseas. Before you actually move over, you don’t really know what to expect until you actually get there and experience it, but I think having that Chartered Accountant background has definitely given me the confidence to be able to take on whatever is to come.
What is it like living in HK?
Living in Hong Kong, working in Hong Kong, it really is a twenty-four hour lifestyle. As soon as I got here, I was blown away by the pace and the speed and the urgency of everything. Sometimes you really feel like there’s no time to breathe. You really just got to keep pushing yourself and trusting yourself, being confident of what you’ve learnt, and go from there.
I think keeping an open mind is very important, also soaking in everything you see and everything you learn, because all the knowledge that you gain is like an investment. It’ll come back and help you out one day. Also, don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. I think that’s where you’ll really get the most out of yourself and develop.
Check out what Darren has been up to since he completed his CA below.