The executive chairman of Hysan Development, one of Hong Kong’s best known property companies, Irene Lee worked as an investment banker in Australia for over 30 years before returning to Hong Kong in 2011 to take over the reins of the family business the following year. She is the granddaughter of Lee Hysan, who was largely responsible for creating the modern Causeway Bay, levelling a hill in the area in the 1920s and building the area’s first leisure facilities. Hysan’s current portfolio is still based around Causeway Bay’s Lee Gardens.
She was previously an executive director of Citicorp in New York, London and Sydney, and head of corporate finance at Commonwealth Bank of Australia and chief executive officer of Sealcorp Holdings, as well as non-executive chairman of Keybridge Capital, a non-executive director of ING Bank, CLP Holdings, Cathay Pacific and Noble Group, and a member of the Australian Government Takeovers Panel. These days she’s a member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and a non-executive chairman of Hang Seng Bank and HSBC