Vivien Chan is an accomplished lawyer who specialises in mergers and acquisitions in Hong Kong and the mainland. She also owns and manages several serviced apartment blocks called V, which means time management is a crucial element of her success. 'It's important to set priorities and be incredibly flexible,' Chan says. 'It's a fluid thing.'
She started her professional career in London and returned to Hong Kong in the early 1980s. She is senior partner of Vivien Chan & Co and has close to 30 years' experience in labour and employment, mergers and acquisitions, technology transfers and information technology and related tax issues.
Chan has expanded her real estate investments. In 1996, she took back management of her first block of serviced apartments in Happy Valley and then decided to go big with a chain.
As the founder, chairman and managing director of VCC Land, Chan has five V serviced apartment blocks and is planning new V residences, long-term leases in Castle Road and four high-end houses at 20 Castle Road.
She fits in these priorities and serves as chairman of the Estate Agents Association, a board member of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and Air Transport Licensing Authority. She is also a council member of the Hong Kong committee for Unicef. For her charity work Chan was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star for her contributions to the community.
'The most important thing is planning,' Chan says. 'On Sundays, I look at the calendar and then decide what should be done the following week. It's important to give time to yourself and respect the people who work with you. When you lose time or sight of time, opportunities don't always come back.'
Chan says she offers practical business solutions to her clients and she takes the same approach with V. 'I want clients to think they couldn't have done a better job furnishing their own apartment. We cater to their needs and wants with ample storage and good maintenance.'
With Sunday as her only day off, Chan makes the most of it by having singing lessons, going for a swim and then having lunch with family. She enjoys reading travel and fiction, but the relaxing day may end with a nap in the afternoon before dinner with friends.
Her high expectations have also motivated her to greater heights. However, mistakes can be made and she believes 'letting them haunt you is healthy, be it for three minutes, three hours or three days. You have to recognise you are only human and can only do so much.'
'I don't like to buy watches that have leather or fabric straps because when I wash my hands I don't take them off - not even my rings. Also, I have a small wrist and so I don't like to go for big watch bands. This one is timeless and I can wear it from the day to evening.'
'This was a present from an admirer but I won't reveal who. I got it six years ago. Like the Bulgari watch, this one is timeless too. Perhaps my admirer got it for me because I have a lot of Buccellati jewellery.'