Lim Kee Yeong: Life lessons from the banking world

INTERVIEW: In this third instalment of Chief of Staff Asia’s interview with Lim Kee Yeong from Affin Bank in Malaysia, we ask him to reflect on some of the biggest milestones and lessons from his 20-year history in the finance industry.

COS Asia: Please share one important lesson as you perform your current role.

Lim: Adaptability – it’s a big word, but one that’s fully on trial in my current role. It has been a part of everything: from setting up the business five years ago, with very little to start with, to winning customers’ trust. Most important of all has been how to shift the Bank quickly to online/virtual modes during the pandemic. With a great team, we overcome many obstacles.

COS Asia: If you were not a banker, what possibly would you be now?

Lim: (Laughs) Haha, I have always liked two other professions. One is building and renovating houses, and the other is piloting aircraft. Over the years, I have developed a deep interest in building and renovating homes. I design my home interiors, with minor on and off upgrading or modifying here and there, subject to affordability. Some friends have even sought advice on their renovations, which I happily provided. Being a pilot is the dream of many kids, but somehow, it still attracts my interest. I enjoy reading information on aircraft and the aircraft pages of inflight magazines.

COS Asia: Was there a time when you had to rethink if you were in the right place in your career?

Lim: Most definitely. I started in banking and have remained so since then. I couldn’t say if that was correct or not, but my decision then was focused on the highest pay I could get, given some family issues back then. The biggest turning point to talk about was my decision over 17 years ago to move on from consumer banking, where I was very comfortable, to SME banking, where I knew virtually nothing.

Somehow, I was bold enough, fortunate enough, and grateful enough to have an opportunity to run an SME product portfolio. The rest is history. I still enjoy banking, but I’m loving every minute of SME banking specifically. With the little runway I have left in my career, I would like to continue my career growth, and hopefully, one day, give more stories from here on.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Lim Kee Yeong, Executive Director for Enterprise Banking with Affin Bank in Malaysia. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

Lim Kee Yeong: Flying high during difficult times

Affin Bank Malaysia: Exercising management with care

Lim Kee Yeong: Life lessons from the banking world

Getting to know: Lim Kee Yeong, Affinbank's executive director of Enterprise Banking (March 24, 2022)

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