Laura Cha Shih May-lung will continue her role as HKEX chair for two more years after being re-elected to the post she has held since 2018.
Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam approved the re-election and expressed confidence in Cha’s leadership in helping raise the city’s competitiveness and its status as a financial centre.
Ant Group had earlier appointed Cha as an independent director – a move that sparked speculation that the company hoped to improve compliance management through her joining.
Cha is currrently a non-official member of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Executive Council. She is also a non-executive director of Unilever; a senior international adviser at Foundation Assets Management Sweden and a member of Sotheby’s international advisory board. Cha is vice chair of the International Advisory Council of the China Securities Regulatory Commission and a director of the World Federation of Exchanges.
She entered the legal field in 1983, working in California and US federal courts before going into practice at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, and Coudert Brothers.
Cha has worked for the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong since 1991 and became deputy chairman in 1998. The State Council appointed her as the first – and to date only – person outside mainland China to join the Central Government at a vice-ministerial rank when she was made vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission in 2001.