#Entrepreneurs — 24.04.2019

Finding Your Place in a Business Family


Learn more about Kristine Li, a participant in the Women Entrepreneur Program, and her advice to women entrepreneurs.

Kristine Li

Senior Deputy General Manager of Portfolio Leasing Department
Henderson Land Development

Connect : Linkedin

According to the consulting firm McKinsey, by 2025, 40% of the world's largest companies will be family businesses originating in emerging markets. They are already very prominent in the economic landscape. In Southeast Asia, for example, 85% of companies valued at $1 billion or more are family businesses. In the United States, they already represent 90%[1] of companies. Family businesses are high performers, particularly because of their long-term vision, but they also face unique challenges, such as the issue of passing the business on to the next generation. According to the Global Entrepreneur Report, 51% of entrepreneurs want to pass their business on to a family member. But, while the desire to keep the company in the family is strong, 53% of entrepreneurs believe that their successors need support. This support can take several forms. Thus, 92% of entrepreneurs value the implementation of succession plans by their Private Banker to prepare for the next generation[2] and 57% of them believe that the implementation of a family governance policy helps to clarify the company's strategy and thus facilitate the transfer.[3]

As a young executive working in a family business founded in 1976, Kristine Li has to face these challenges. Henderson Land Development Company Limited is now the third largest real estate developer in Hong Kong. To assert her place as a leader, Kristine learns from her family members while bringing new ideas every day. She has created the world's first vertical art gallery, the H Queen's tower in Hong Kong.

“There’s a whole family dynamic working with family members […]. As a younger woman and a younger leader, how do I communicate, extract and learn from the very best they have whilst seeking a lot of new ideas of my own?”

Mentoring and coaching can provide keys to respond to such challenges for women entrepreneurs such as Kristine Li. That is why every year we host the Women Entrepreneur Program in partnership with the Women Initiative Foundation. This program combines top-class conferences at Stanford University, networking sessions and site visits of innovative companies. Each year, it enables approximately 40 women entrepreneurs from around the world to strengthen their leadership and promote their businesses' growth.

[1] Source: Family Owned Businesses, retrieved January 2019: (https://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/family-owned-businesses.html). 

[2] Ibid

[3] Source: BNP Paribas, Global Entrepreneur Report 2019. Study conducted among 2,763 entrepreneurs from 23 countries. 

Kristine Li ∨



Kristine Li is the Senior Deputy General Manager of Portfolio Leasing Department at Henderson Land Development. She oversees the Group’s investment properties in Hong Kong. She recently launched the world’s first purpose-built vertical art gallery tower “H Queen’s” in Hong Kong, and is passionate about building out themed lifestyle projects that engage communities from the arts, creatives, to medical. She is also an Executive Director of Citistore (HK) Limited, the department store arm of the Henderson Land group. She holds a Master of Science in Real Estate from The University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, USA.

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