Being a member of NPAworldwide not only improves my business bottom line, I also meet and make a lot of new friends from around the world.

I have done splits with members from Africa for a client in Asia using a candidate from Europe. NPAworldwide is global and I have been a member since 2011. I have always been involved with NPAworldwide volunteer work. I was appointed Members Manager for North Asia from 2011 till 2017, a totally voluntary role serving the Asian community for a total of 6 years. I am still volunteering but in a different capacity.  

Being an NPAworldwide evangelist has always been one of my missions. As the Members Manager North Asia, I was assigned to recruit a certain number of new members per fiscal year and I think I have mostly met my KPIs. After my tenure as the manager, I still share the merits of NPAworldwide when I meet up with fellow headhunters at social and industrial events. I always keep a stash of NPAworldwide event photos on my mobile phone to show off. I always want more people to join our network.  

I went to St. Joseph’s College when I was growing up in Hong Kong. It is one of the oldest Catholic high schools in town, established in 1875. My father, his twin brother, my son also attended this school. The alumni association is highly active and regularly organizes many activities including trade symposiums, panel discussions, industry leader series, student mentorships, happy hour, dinner, golf and ski trips, pool parties, boat parties, etc. I was at one of the happy hour events in late 2018 when I ran into this young chap named Simon Li. Although I am much older than Simon, we managed to chat about various school nostalgia. We then talked about our work and we exchanged name cards in which we realized we work in the same trade. He asked me about the blue logo on my card and what does NPAworldwide mean. This got me started and him hooked.   

Simon rang up the day before the start of the NPAworldwide Asian conference and said it would be great if he could meet some other members as he was in his final stage of deciding whether to join NPAworldwide. As he was not a member yet, he could not attend the Asia Conference.   

It just so happened I arranged dinner the night before the conference at one of my favorite restaurants with some conference attendees that I have known for a long time. Many were current or past directors. As it was a casual, non-official function, I asked Simon to come, meet and chat with them. He came with one of his senior staffers.   

It was a great NPA-style party as there were a lot of lively discussions over fine cuisine, all well-hydrated with copious amount of wine, beer and Chinese liquor. There were a lot of interactions between Simon and guests.   

At one point someone asked me how I met Simon, and I told her about the St. Joseph’s College connection. All of a sudden, one of the dinner attendees, Norman Koo (NPA# 8499), interrupted excitedly and said he too went to St. Joseph’s College. I told him that he was more senior to me and Simon is young enough to be his son. Norman said this is the first time he ran into any fellow students in 30 years and this made his day. Simon said that attending the dinner was one of his best decisions and he would file his NPAworldwide application the next day.  

Norman Koo also had another classmate attending the dinner. He and Dennis Lui of Hong Kong Executive Search Shanghai Branch (NPA# 8397) went to Engineering School together at University of Hong Kong. I did not ask about which year as I don’t want to embarrass the grannies…  

We three keep in touch regularly working on splits, putting Norman back in touch with his classmates that he has not contacted in decades. I think Norman and Simon were working on some international split assignments last Christmas. Norman and I are working on a split today.   

There are definitely a lot of sixth-degree connections in NPAworldwide and I hope these connections can help us grow our network, our business and definitely our friendship.   

Please keep safe and healthy in these uncertain times.