Most high-flying bankers I come across don’t seem to spend much of their waking hours at play. A large amount of time is spent quite literally high-flying between Asia’s capital cities, moving from deal to deal.
So forgive me for continuing to be somewhat puzzled at the head of HSBC’s Asia private banking business having so much time to hone her salsa skills.
[photopress:wong.jpg,full,alignright]Monica Wong has won back the US$8 million she paid to her former world champion dance coaches as part of a of a 10-year US$15 million-plus deal for unlimited lessons and competition entries.
You have to praise her commitment, question her lavish spending habits and then ask where on earth she found the time.
Apparently, under a two-year US$1.3 million unlimited lesson deal that ran from 2002, Wong took six 45-minute lessons per day, seven days a week. Two lessons before breakfast, two at lunchtime and another two at night? It seems possible but I was just typing it out rather than trying to master a paso doble.
I have neither the money, inclination or coordination to frequent Hong Kong’s dance halls but salsa is said to be a must for those who want to generate social kudos at charity balls.
Therefore, having invested so much cash in profile-booster that became a passion, you can understand why Wong was miffed when her teacher threatened to throw her "out of the f***ing window" during a public dance session.
The teacher is now paying the price for his outburst. But with a department head so diverted, would it be worth HSBC carrying out a performance review at its private banking arm?