In the first article of a three-part series by Swiss watchmaker Breguet, we turn the spotlight on investment banker Lee Jim Leng.
Tatler Asia
Above Her ability to balance the seriousness of the banking industry with her fashion savoir-faire is a testament to her character. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

Rules Of Excellence

Women in finance are few and far between in Malaysia, but Lee Jim Leng, the outgoing and ebullient managing director and chief executive of Hong Leong Investment Bank, has found a solid footing in the investment banking sector. 

Tatler Asia
Above Lee Jim Leng is wearing the Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 watch in white gold, Breguet Reine de Naples Pendant in white gold and Breguet Reine de Naples Ring in white gold. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

A Force To Reckon With

She spent a few years cutting her teeth in commercial banking before chancing upon her true calling, and she has now established herself as a formidable banking force in this country.

Investment banking is a giant machinery that balances the ebb and flow of economy, sentiments and policies. The demands can be brutal, the risk nerve-wracking but the perks are definitely worth the hustle.

 The mother of three has a certain je ne sais quoi about her. Her ability to balance the seriousness of the banking industry with her fashion savoir-faire is a testament to her character, strength and ability.

And it is for this reason that the Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches – Breguet handpicked Jim Leng to frontline its latest digital campaign with Malaysia Tatler. 

Just like the founder Abraham-Louis Breguet, who left home as a teenager to take up watchmaking apprenticeship in Versailles and Paris; Jim Leng too relinquished her humble beginnings in Penang to pursue career fulfillment and success. 

She spills the beans about her motivation for success, adapting to change and most importantly, how time is her most precious commodity.

Tatler Asia
Above Here, she wears the Breguet Reine de Naples Cammea 8958 in white gold and Breguet Ring la Rose de le Reine in white gold. (Photo: Shaffiq Farhan)

What does time mean to you?

Time to me signifies luxury. It's so fleeting and passes by so quickly if we are not able to capture our moments meaningfully. With more time, I can do all the things I had wanted and go to all the places I had wanted to explore. But because time is a scarce commodity, we need to prioritise, make adjustments and sacrifices on some of the things that we can't fit into our time.

How do you make the most out of your time?

By prioritising and planning, of course. Every week, I will list down a plan of what I hope to do and achieve by prioritising my to-do list. That way, I would start at the top of my to-do list and move down the chain. That to me would optimise the use of my time.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?

The feeling that I still love and enjoy what I do, be it my job, friends or family.

How do you reinvent yourself?

Reinventing is about adapting to change which is never a constant! Accepting that I can fail and acknowledging that everyone has some value to add will mean that diversity and unity adds strength. I constantly try to listen and be open to ideas. Be a lifelong student, never lose your curiosity to learn.

What’s your greatest strength?

I would regard my sincerity as my biggest strength. Being sincere to me is about being genuine. With that, I try to help without expectations, to speak with honesty and to act with integrity and humility. I have been practising that notion from a very young age and it was taught by my grandmother.

When did you consider yourself a success?

To me, there isn't a single definition for success. I feel successful when I am happy, confident and contented with what I have, where I am now and still liking what I do everyday.

And to me, being successful also means I can draw happiness in helping others improve their lives. I admire philanthropists who spent a lot of their time giving back to society and enriching the lives of others. That's what I hope to emulate too.

It is exactly because of the way I look at success that I've always felt that I'm successful! And we learn not to let our expectations overwhelm reality. People are unhappy when they over expect and find themselves underachieving. 

Share with us your favorite quote(s).

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do" by Steve Jobs and "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it" by Maya Angelou. 

What are you reading right now?

The Girl On The Train.

For more timepieces, jewellery and latest news, visit the Breguet website here.

Photos: Shaffiq Farhan
Special thanks: The Astor Bar, The St Regis Kuala Lumpur

Tatler Asia
© 2023 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.