On November 21st, 2017, more than 20 students from Guanghua School of Management went on a study visit to HNA Capital’s office.
【BREIF INTRO TO HNA CAPITAL】
HNA Capital Group Co., Ltd is the financial services focused branch of the HNA Group, a Global Fortune 500 company. Over the past 10 years, HNA capital has experienced rapid growth through utilizing innovation and other industrial advantages afforded to it by the larger HNA Group. HNA Capital offers a comprehensive, integrated set of financial services, across a broad range of sectors such as leasing, insurance, online finance, securities and others. Globally, they have more than 30 member companies handling total assets amounting to over 340 billion CNY.
As HNA is looking to expand its already considerable international operations, the company hoped to attract talented international students from Guanghua to join its operations.
Firstly, the HR officer in charge of campus recruitment played a video for students that showed HNA’s growth from a pure airline company to a diversified group of companies today. HNA started out serving air routes between smaller cities to avoid competing with state-owned airlines on routes between large cities, and gradually diversified its business into hotels and leasing containers.
Next, an investment officer, Francesco, introduced what HNA capital does in detail, explaining that HNA has almost all the financial licenses required to operate in China. He explained that HNA Capital is gradually expanding into investment banking, though a main of HNA capital’s business model still remains in its leasing services.
Afterwards, HNA Capital’s Chief Innovation Offier, Wang Shuai, answered some of our students’ questions about the company’s investment principles. Wang Shuai explained that although HNA Capital has its roots as a more ‘operational’ type of company, it is becoming more of an investment company, and its investments are both for strategic ends and to profit monetarily. Wang Shuai also shared some of the thinking behind HNA Capital’s M&A strategy, which captivated students given HNA’s aggressive M&A actions overseas these past 2 years.
The third part of the visit was an interactive Q&A with the international staff of HNA capital. These officers were from a variety of teams including legal consultancy, investment banking, securities and macroeconomic research. The staff shared the reasons why they chose to join a purely Chinese firm rather than a joint venture or a foreign enterprise. Common reasons included ‘really knowing’ how business operated in China and gaining a breadth of experiences given the opportunities to rotate between different roles all while staying in HNA group. The staff mentioned that as a new company with only 25 years of history, a lot of things internally can be improved and are open to suggestions to be improved, since procedures are less established. Students were also reassured that English was the language in use at work, and that while difficult, the learning curve to adapt to Chinese company culture was eye-opening. The sharing session was honest and unvarnished, with one staff even sharing how she felt like she wanted to leave but decided not to in the end and is now glad for that decision.
Lastly, the HR officer in charge went through their current positions available in Bohai Life (insurance company), Yanshan Venture Capital and Bohai Capital (leasing company), which are all subsidiary companies under HNA Group’s financing and investment arm. An interesting program called ITP program allows international students who speak and write Chinese to enter HNA capital on a 18-24 basis to rotate between 3 departments so as to gain expertise across functions. For students interested in an internship at HNA capital, an internship program called IEI also allows students to receive training and gain hands-on experience working at HNA capital’s headquarters from July to August 2018.
This study visit not only deepened students’ understanding of HNA Capital’s operations, but also provided unique insights from the perspective of foreign employees that were highly relevant for the many international students in the audience. It offers a great opportunity for the students to meet some of the top level executives of HNA Capital who tried their best address curiosity of students. Students found this visit informative and insightful, and are all looking forward to participating more similar visits in the future.
Guanghua student Zi Xin LEE