Guest Speaker: Hayley Lau

Role: Senior Consultant and Executive Recruiter

Thank You Steve McConnell for taking the notes below.

CTEW Group is a multi-disciplined management consultant firm based in Vancouver with offices in Hong
Kong. In business for twenty years, they work with companies and investors of all sizes and scope,
locally and internationally. Their approach is to provide practical and realistic solutions suited to their
client's needs. They see each client as being unique, with its own special needs and requirements.

Twenty years ago, CTEW was formed, when its President and CEO, noticed that many hotel property
owners had long term goals that often differed from that of the major hotel companies. By identifying
the unique needs of these owners, they established a niche, helping bridge the long term and often
conflicting objectives of these two groups. From this base, they extended their client base to include
Real Estate Developers and Investors who often see the hotel sector as an area with good profit

Involvement in this business has led them to Hong Kong where they have established an office to meet
the needs of the Hong Kong market and as a gateway to the rest of China. While very competitive, they
find the Asian market to be more lucrative and less bureaucratic. 25% of their business now comes from
Hong Kong, with 4/5ths of this revenue coming from the Island and the remaining fifth coming from
mainland China. English is the primary language of business in Hong Kong. Mandarin and Cantonese are
now spoken in equal amounts in Hong Kong now.

Their business strategy is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their clients. By asking many
questions and listening, they are better able to understand their client's needs and where they may
need help. They will walk away from a prospective client if they do not think they can provide a viable
solution. They will also bring in other specialized consultants for tasks they are not equipped to do, such
as website design. They also make sure that their client's expectations are fully understood. The last
thing they want is a bad reference.

They find Asia to be a more attractive place to do business as unions are less prevalent and regulations
tend to be more flexible. They find that BC is attractive geographically and for its natural setting, but
with double digit returns available elsewhere in the world, our labour climate and current tax regime
make investment here less rewarding. China and India, due to population growth, are currently very

At times they find that they are often brought in at the proposal stage, simply to provide good ideas
for free. Hayley said that this is a problem in the consulting industry generally. She finds that with
experience, they are able to identify quickly what information to share, what to hold back and who they
should even work with at all.

Hayley has a diverse background, with a BA in Political Science, a few years in Human Resources
including recruiting, and succession management and also four years spent diversifying their business.
They now consult / recruit in Sales, Information Technology and Accounting in addition to Hospitality.