A conversation with Hikaru Ogata, CEO, Asia Pacific
Hikaru Ogata holds the role of CEO, Asia Pacific since September 2010. Starting his career in investment banking in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Goldman Sachs in New York, he held positions in the fields of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong before joining BNP Paribas’ Hong Kong branch in 1998, where he held several positions up to his move to Societe Generale.
Why Societe Generale, and why Asia Pacific?
“Asia Pacific is a vast and diverse region, where Societe Generale has operations in 11 countries. Our history in the region dates back a long time, so we are an established player here. We have built up a high-performance business, based on a multi-specialist model, drawing on our people, our expertise and our synergies with the Group to take maximum advantage of new growth opportunities, which we have done quite successfully over the past years. Within the boundaries of our regulatory environment we are very strong at taking market opportunities. And the Asia Pacific region still holds considerable development potential for our activities. This is really an exciting place if you want to be right in the middle of it.”
''Because relationships are at the heart of how we operate, Societe Generale is committed to strengthening bonds with people: with clients, with the communities in which we operate, and most certainly with the colleagues we work with.''
In what way does Societe Generale stand out from other employers in the Financial Services industry?
“I think the culture, the mind-set to really help and support our employees – our colleagues – to develop themselves and grow their career, is what makes us different. Because relationships are at the heart of how we operate, Societe Generale is committed to strengthening bonds with people: with clients, with the communities in which we operate, and most certainly with the colleagues we work with. Our tagline Building team spirit together is not just a hollow phrase, but a reality in this organisation.”
What does it take to be successful at Societe Generale?
“A couple of things. You need to have an entrepreneurial spirit and be innovative. You are daring, and you are comfortable in a constantly changing environment. Uncertainty doesn’t worry you because you leverage it as an opportunity to move forward. Integrity and high ethical standards define you. Also, you listen to what others have to say. You strive to understand their perspectives and their concerns, and you respect their opinions, even if they are not the same as yours. And finally, you are capable of building relationships based on trust – with your clients, your colleagues and your business partners.”