Honorary University Fellow (2017)
A certified public accountant for over 30 years, Mr Tang has made a significant contribution to the accounting profession in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and beyond. Mr Tang graduated from Hong Kong Baptist College in 1976 with a diploma in accounting, and he then joined the accounting firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. At that time, it was very unusual for Baptist graduates to join accounting firms, with most instead preferring to join private enterprises. The year 1976 however represented something of a turning point, and to this day Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) accounting graduates have a proud record of employment with the big four accounting firms.
When Mr Tang joined Deloitte in 1976, it had less than 80 employees. He rose through the ranks, and became a partner of the firm in 1988, with his role spanning Managing Partner for audit services as well as partner in charge of audit risk management. Now, Deloitte is the biggest of the big four accounting firms in the world, employing more than 10,000 staff in Hong Kong and Mainland China alone. It is now much more than just an auditing firm for the world’s multinational corporations, and offers consulting services and tax advice, and advises governments. Mr Tang played a central role at Deloitte during this evolution and expansion, until his retirement in 2013. Though retired, Mr Tang has remained actively engaged with the business sector. He is currently Independent Non-executive Directors of five Hong Kong-listed and private companies, spanning real estate, banking, manufacturing, and resources in Greater China and Asia Pacific regions.
Beyond his contribution to his profession, Mr Tang has devoted his unceasing and dedicated efforts to supporting the development of HKBU in various capacities. Over the years, he has made significant donations in support of the HKBU Century Club Fund, Silver Jubilee and Senior Alumni Bursaries, and he has committed scholarships to accounting students. Mr Tang is currently Treasurer of the HKBU Century Club, a member of the HKBU Court, and Honorary Vice-President of the HKBU Foundation. He has also fostered student development and employability through his membership of the School of Business Advisory Committee, and being Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Graduate Employment.
It is evident through his actions that Mr Tang has greatly benefitted the University and demonstrated a genuine concern for the development of our young people. With that in mind, Mr Tang offers our freshman three pieces of advice to inspire their future career. His first advice to our freshman is “be a good listener”. Throughout his career, Mr Tang has had to listen to many clients, and solve their problems. In doing so, Mr Tang learnt a lot about business and strategies. Listening, according to Mr Tang, is essential for learning. The second piece of advice that Mr Tang offers our freshman is “never close doors”. In the early 1980s, Mr Tang left Deloitte to go and work in a private enterprise. When he resigned from Deloitte, Mr Tang’s boss said, “Alfred, if one day you want to come back, you would be welcome”. And indeed, 18 months later, Mr Tang returned to Deloitte. Mr Tang advises young people “Don’t be afraid to take risks and pursue your dreams. But also don't be afraid to turn back. Maintain good relationships always, and never close doors. Do not be overly concerned with losing face, do not be too proud. Sometimes you only appreciate what you have if you try something different”. The third piece of advice Mr Tang offers youngsters is the importance of being proactive. In his many years as a risk management partner, he listened to fellow partners and clients with problems. However, often by the time a client presented a problem, it was too late to fix it. He advises young people to be proactive, to try to pick up weak signals so as to detect early signs of a problem, before it becomes a problem too big to solve.
Mr Tang is an outstanding professional who enthusiastically promotes the development of his alma mater. In recognition of his contribution to his profession and his unwavering support to HKBU and the youngsters of Hong Kong, Mr Tang is an exemplary candidate for the Honorary University Fellowship.