23 Mar

Member Spotlight: William Barkshire

We're excited to launch our new member spotlight series! We’ll be regularly cycling through our thematic committees and asking our co-chairs to nominate our most active members. Every week or so (bear with us as we roll this out!) we’ll select a topical member to introduce to the wider community. 

First up is Will Barkshire, managing partner at GBA Partners, and active member of our WealthTech committee and GBA initiatives. The Greater Bay Area remains highly topical for the future of Hong Kong so we were excited to hear from Will on where he’s involved.


For those who don’t know, what is GBA Partner's mission?

We provide first-class and practical hands-on strategic advisory services to financial services companies and fintechs, regechs, wealthtechs and others looking to enter, partner or expand into or out of Greater China. In essence, at GBA Partners we position you to be highly successful and in opening the right doors.

Where can our members find you within the FTAHK community?

For me, given the ongoing limits on physical meetings, the main benefit of joining the FTAHK has been the opportunities to participate in the various committee meetings, and the Wealthtech Committee in particular and so ably led by Neil Tan and Julie Chan, and whose agenda – in an period of zoom webinar exhaustion - has remained highly topical, relevant and interesting.

What can we expect for the Greater Bay Area this year?

Despite a strained geopolitical landscape between China and West, we expect to see continued liberalisation of the Chinese financial markets both inbound and outbound, which in turn will present once in a lifetime for those firms effectively positioned to take advantage of these trends. We also expect to see further development in the GBA transforming Hong Kong’s financial sector by a factor of ten. Lastly, I expect to see significant uplift in the ESG space in terms of decision makers’ understanding and an urgent call to action – indeed, I am optimistic that China will follow Europe’s ESG leadership.

Who exactly are your customers?

We view all our customers as partners and constantly strive to deliver excellent and honest advice. As the bridge between Greater China and the World we are looking to build long term relationships with firms seeking to successfully enter or further build their business operations in Greater China, and vice versa from Greater China globally. This includes traditional firms and service providers and innovative market entrants in a broad range of financial services including wealth and asset managers, insurers, exchanges, financial technology companies, and brokerage services.

What's the best thing taking up your time?

As the go-to strategic advisory firm bridging Greater China with the World in financial services, we are currently primarily focused on three main areas of activity:

- Firstly, we are actively involved in advising financial institutions from Europe on their market entry strategies into Greater China and advising them in localising their businesses and identifying solid partners where appropriate.

- Secondly, we are also working with leading Chinese financial services firms in terms of advising them on their “go-global” strategies.

- Thirdly, we are also being approached in respect of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and in relation to Wealth Management Connect and the opportunities more broadly in wealth and other financial services related areas.

What is not taking up our time is endless reams of sleep inducing PowerPoint as we pride ourselves on getting to the point both quickly and effectively!

How can our members get in touch if they want to hear more?

You can DM me on LinkedIn or WhatsApp (+852 9738 9621). Please do not hesitate to contact me and all the best for the rest of 2022 in the Year of the Tiger!

William's LinkedIn