ALBERT SZE TANG LI
Finalist of the EPIC Awards 2018
Founder & President of two companies
Albert Li is one of those people who knows that, when we embrace a child, it is the future that is embracing us.
With a doctorate degree in Law from the University of Beijing, a masters in Business Management from the Imperial College London, and as Director and Founder of First Asia Finance Group Limited, the life of Albert Li began to change when he realized that he needed a break from what he had been doing up to then. He needed to broaden his scope and get into matters that had a more global perspective. That was when he decided to do the Masters in Finance at IE.
Born in Hong Kong, Li “always enjoyed being part of and involved in different facets of society. I regard knowledge and education as fundamental tools to empowering our community.”
During his IE masters degree study, Doctor Li felt that the program was “extremely useful and practical”. But the great moment of discovery came when he began working as a consultant in micro-financing in Ghana. That’s where he learned “the true power of finance: the positive social impact our resources can make in underprivileged countries.”
That was the moment when the inner Albert Li began to undergo a big transformation. After completing his master’s degree in 2013, he invested in two micro-financing institutions, thus being able to help more than 10,000 families during the investment period. Inspired by his work in Ghana and convinced of the positive social impact of what he was doing, he began a program offered by the World Bank to turn himself into a Certified Microfinance Trainer.
In this way, in 2013 Doctor Li founded The Good Investment Inc. to take money he had earned in his businesses and direct it toward work that would have a positive social impact: public health, education and technological development. “Having witnessed the power of sustainable social ventures, I decided to back other impact investment projects,” he explains.
Following the same course, in 2014 he established in Hong Kong the One For All Charity Foundation Ltd., a charity to support local and international charitable work through donations. Likewise, in 2016 in Singapore, he established an organization that invests exclusively in social operations in places like Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
As he explains, “over the past decades, I have pursued different career paths to my personal satisfaction. Looking back, my experiences have led me to realize that I have had the great privilege to truly make a difference in the world, whether through finance or law or otherwise, by investing my time and efforts for a good cause.”
When asked about the biggest problem facing the planet, Doctor Li doesn’t hesitate: “The biggest problem we face is widening income inequality.” And he doesn’t think twice before saying who should take action: “Governments, legislators and regulators must step in to provide access to human rights, social services, quality healthcare and education to solve these underlying problems. These decision-makers have a moral obligation to serve the best interests of the people, not themselves. We must have a longer-term vision and invest not in projects, but in our planet and our people.”
Doctor Li says he felt the greatest happiness when “seeing the smiles on our beneficiaries” faces when we travelled on-site. We must all wake up and be kind-hearted, compassionate and loving –and realize we are, after all, more interconnected as one single human race than we think.
Knowing that I have the ability to make at least one person smile will always motivate me to continue the work that I do.”
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