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Lai See

CLP executive leads by example as power company generates babies

CLP Group managing director Andrew Brandler (below) is the proud father of a boy who turns one month old today. Luke is Mr Brandler's fifth son, with his biggest brother 28 years older than him.

Evidently the joy of a new baby is just as great the fifth time around as the first, as a beaming Mr Brandler boasted about Luke to reporters.

Happiness can be infectious, and Mr Brandler is determined to spread the cheer and get more of his employees to be fruitful and multiply.

'The Year of the Pig is about fertility, and CLP has policies to encourage more babies,' he said.

Mr Brandler is introducing three-day paternity leave for new fathers within the company, as well as a HK$1,000 lai see and a HK$1,000 donation to the Community Chest for every new baby.


CLP's 4,000 employees are already procreating faster than the rest of Hong Kong, with 120 births last year, more than four times the city's average birth rate.

Betty Yuen, managing director of the firm's power generation business, pointed out that with Mr Brandler in such generous spirits, it might be a good time to ask for a raise.

When charity begins with yourself

Last year was a year of fat bonuses and profits for banks in Asia, with a flood of initial public offerings and other advisory work making rich bankers even richer. Sadly, very little of that money seems to be finding its way down the food chain.


The philanthropy unit of ADM Capital, an Asian buyout fund, has surveyed local banks and the Asian units of international banks and was surprised how little of their profits were ploughed back into their communities compared with what banks give in the United States and Europe.

'Compared to the amount of money they have made, they are not contributing much back to society,' said Pooja Pradhan, who conducted the study.


Ms Pradhan said European banks seemed to be more generous overseas than their US counterparts, many of which say they focus their philanthropy in their home country.

For the record, ADM Capital says its foundation has US$1 million a year to spend on philanthropy, with a focus on children at risk and environmental issues.

Step inside for a breath of fresh air


The Sun Hung Kai Centre in Wan Chai has been awarded an 'outstanding' grade for indoor air quality by the Environment Protection Department. It is the oldest of the five buildings in Hong Kong to have received the top award.

The judges assessed the building based on 12 criteria including temperature, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Breathe deeply, Sun Hung Kai workers, because when you step outside you will be choking on Hong Kong's smog once again.


Hackers' handiwork not ferry funny

There may be a reason you have not heard back after you sent your resume off to that job advertisement.

Hackers hijacked the website of NWS Holdings about two months ago and posted job openings in Zhongshan and surrounding areas, requesting applicants to submit personal information with their applications.

NWS Holdings, which operates the New World First Ferry Services as well as New World and Citybus transport systems, got suspicious when applicants started e-mailing their details to the company in search of jobs. The company was not hiring for any of the positions, much less in Zhongshan.

The hackers appeared to be operating an identity theft scheme and have not been caught.

International but not global enough

Hong Kong is the best in Asia, but not in the world. We are in third place, behind London and New York. We beat Singapore, which came in fourth.

A new ranking of 46 global financial centres placed Hong Kong as the top Asian city, although it considered us an 'international' centre, not a 'global' centre such as those in first and second place.

Zurich is in fifth place, just ahead of Frankfurt, while Shanghai came in at 24th and Beijing 36th.

Hong Kong is predicted to stay on top in Asia, assisted by a strong regulatory system and a well-skilled financial services workforce.