Joseph Yam: Putting authority into the HKMA
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Joseph Yam: Putting authority into the HKMA

As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May Asia focus.

Euromoney is concerned we won’t recognize Joseph Yam after 15 years. We needn’t have worried. Emerging from a lift at the Conrad in Hong Kong, his resplendent white mop-top is visible across a crowded hotel lobby. 

“I have had this haircut,” he says, “since 1965.”


Yam was the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and it is hard to imagine a tenure that could have involved more. It included the British handover of Hong Kong, the Asian financial crisis and the global financial crisis, all against the backdrop of a steadily opening China.

He will always be best known for his response to the Asian crisis, but his early time, after taking the top job at the HKMA’s formation in 1993, was crucial.

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