On Friday 15 March 2019, PHBS-UK hosted a gala dinner at Mansfield College to formally welcome our 25 banking executives from the China Construction Bank to the UK. The evening started with drink reception where the executives mingled with our distinguished guests, Principal Helen Mountfield Queen’s Counsel (Principal of Mansfield College), Mr BoShu Liang (the Chief Representative of the UK Office of China State Bureau of Foreign Talents), Dr Paul Flather (Senior Fellow of Mansfield College), and other invited guests including Dr Qi Luo and Ms Emma Murry-Luo, Ms Xu Hongfang Xu, Ms Sitoh, Mr Gen Jian, Dr Yijing Li. . Principal Helen Mountfield, welcomed the executives to the College and the UK. She also gave them a brief history of the College and the College chapel in which the evening festivities would take place. PHBS-UK presented a token of appreciation to Principal Mountsfield to thank the College for their continuous support in facilitating scholarly exchanges with Peking University and Peking University HSBC Business School.
At the sound of the gong, the group adjourned to the chapel for dinner. Before the start of the dinner, Ms Emma Murry-Luo, the Mistress of Ceremonies, invited Professor Guy Liu, head of PHBS-UK to give a speech to the executives. Prof Liu formally welcomed the executives to PHBS-UK. He talked about his experience in choosing all 25 of the executives and how over time, he felt as if they were like his young brothers and sisters . In that essence, like an elder brother would, he hoped that they would achieve great heights in this programme and that they would learn all that they could in the nine months that they are at PHBS-UK.
Prof Liu’s speech was followed by another welcome speech by Mr Liang BoShu. . He welcomed the executives to the UK and he praised their courage in embarking on this incredible learning journey, and finally, he encouraged the executives to work hard in the following months to achieve the best that they could be. The final speech of the evening was delivered by Dr Paul Flather. Dr Flather, like the other speakers before him also welcomed the executives. But in particular, as an expert on finance, economics, and Brexit, he highlighted to the executives how incredible that they are in the UK at such a crucial time where the UK is facing multiple challenges, politically, and economically, from the Brexit negotiations. Dr Flather encouraged the bankers to fully immerse themselves into the political and economic culture of Brexit by reading and listening more about it so that they could take away valuable firsthand experiences.
After the pleasantries, the executives settled into experiencing, for many, their first sit-down English-style formal dinner. It was also a chance for many of them to put into practice the etiquette course that Ms Emma Murry-Luo gave them on their first week at PHBS-UK. Many of them found the experience particularly exciting and novel. We at PHBS-UK wish the executives all the success in the world on their new adventure here in the UK.