Hang Seng Bank has long been considered very much a local lender. Thus it was a bit of a surprise to the market when its chairman Michael Smith last Friday indicated that both Hang Seng and its parent HSBC were interested in being listed on the Shanghai stock market. Banking insiders tell White Collar that it is a natural development since many of the two banks' customers have business operations that straddle the mainland and Hong Kong. It would be a good way for the banks to promote their brands in the mainland, to tap into yuan financing for their mainland business and to show their long-term commitment to China, one said. Showing commitment to China was also the reason why Hang Seng Bank held a board meeting in Shanghai last Friday, the first time its directors have ever met outside Hong Kong. Thirteen of the 15 directors were present, including tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, former legislator Eric Li Ka-cheung and Hong Kong Jockey Club chairman John Chan. The two no-shows were Vincent Lo Hong-shui of Shui On Land, whose father, the founder of Great Eagle Holdings, had just passed away, and Marvin Cheung Kin Tung, who was in the United States for medical treatment. Mr Lo delegated one of his top executives to host a dinner for the Hang Seng directors on Thursday night at Xintiandi. On Saturday morning, the directors met with Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng. Mr Chan could not attend that meeting since he had to be back in Hong Kong to officiate at the races that afternoon. So will Hang Seng eventually shift its base to Shanghai? A senior executive of the bank flatly rejects the idea that the bank would ever abandon its roots. The lender is a home-grown success. Established by four businessmen in 1933, the bank, whose name means 'ever growing', had modest origins as a money-changing shop at 70 Wing Lok Street. Its first premises measured only 800 square feet and its initial paid-up capital was HK$100,000. Its first year profit was HK$10,389 - not quite enough to pay one of its tellers for a month's work nowadays. The bank has grown from 11 staff at the outset to more than 8,000 now. It serves two million local customers from 145 outlets in Hong Kong and 15 in China. a comeback deferred? Edith Ngan Man-ling, former chairman of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association and former chief executive of Invesco Hong Kong, is making a comeback - or is she? After she left Invesco in March 2004, Ms Ngan seemed to drop out of sight but her name re-emerged recently as possibly the next Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore managing director of Legg Mason, one of the world's largest asset managers. Since acquiring substantially all of Citigroup's asset management business at the end of last year, Legg Mason has broadened its footprint in Asia. Fund managers tell White Collar that Legg Mason made an internal announcement about Ms Ngan's appointment but then withdrew it. Some people say it was Ms Ngan who changed her mind for family reasons while others say that Legg Mason was still vetting other potential candidates. athletes anointed There seems to be little relationship between two elite athletes, a beauty queen and a policeman but Taifook Securities Group has made the link. Taifook has named as its ambassadors for the next two years Connie Ho Ka-lai, a former local fencing champion and her husband Galen Lam, a secondary school teacher and local director of level-one coaching for the International Association of Athletics Federations. They succeed former beauty queen Olivia Cheng and former commissioner of police Tsang Yam-pui who acted as Taifook's ambassadors from May 2005 to this April. Despite their different backgrounds, a Taifook spokesman said all four represented the company's brand values - prudence, diligence and vitality. Executive juggling act Being a working mother of two is not easy but Winnie Cheung Chee-woon, the chief executive and registrar of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), says she enjoys both roles. In this week's podcast interview, Ms Cheung recalls that while working for an accounting firm in Britain, she handed in her resignation so she would have time to take care of her baby son. But her boss at the time persuaded her to stay by allowing her to work mornings only. Other bosses may wish to consider this idea as a way of keeping their talented working mothers on board. Qualified in Britain as a chartered accountant in 1983, Ms Cheung joined the local institute in 1990 and served as technical director, director of professional practice and senior director before becoming chief executive in 2004. In the podcast, Ms Cheung also talks about what the HKICPA plans to do for its 26,000 members.