Interview with David Kneebone, General Manager of the IEC


Mr David Kneebone has joined the IEC in June as the General Manager. He is happy to share his thoughts on the role and his views towards the city in our e-newsletter.

1. Why would you like to help improve financial literacy in Hong Kong?

I’m motivated by seeing people improve their ability to manage their finances and ultimately increase wealth.
Financial education has been a career highlight for me. Working now in Hong Kong, which is a complex and rich environment, has already proved stimulating and rewarding – even in the first month!

2. What do you want to achieve in Hong Kong?

Initially, coordinating some of the sectors interested in raising financial literacy. Coordination and collaboration amongst stakeholders will bring a momentum shift which should provoke behaviour change amongst those that need to act differently with their money.
Long term, I want to see programmes in place that focus on raising people’s knowledge, motivation and skills, so they feel able to act differently with their money – and then ultimately that they take action and make informed decisions that benefit themselves and their families.

3. What are your top money-saving tips?

Plan : Set financial goals for the short-, mid- and long-term
Ensure you can cover your expenses from pay to pay and annually
Protect your assets – be prepared for shocks in life

Debt : Reduce personal debt as fast as possible – first high-interest then low- interest debts.

Save and invest : Grow your savings to meet your goals and invest at a risk level that’s right for you (and your family).

…… and enjoy the benefits of your hard work!

4. What do you like to do for leisure?

My partner Sean and I enjoy cooking and entertaining, we are very social people. I play tennis whenever possible (I need to find a club to join) and we travel often.
I come from a large family so I’m expecting many brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends to visit while I’m in Hong Kong. They have started booking our spare bedroom already.

5. What do you like about Hong Kong the most?

Two things in my first month here stand out. The food on offer at markets, in supermarkets and in restaurants is extraordinary – so much variety.
The second highlight is the amazing transport system which makes being here so easy and enjoyable. I do enjoy getting the tram to and from Sheung Wan each day at the moment – even though it’s a bit hot, compared to New Zealand.

Prior to taking up this role, Mr Kneebone was the Executive Director at the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income which leads and coordinates the national strategy for financial literacy in New Zealand.