'Being curious is still the name of the game here'
Updated: 2017-06-16 08:02
By Duan Ting in Hong Kong(HK Edition)
Henry Nassau has been associated with law for nearly three decades - 25 years working at Dechert alone, having headed the company's corporate and securities units for 14 years.
He left Dechert in 1999 for a five-year stint at venture capital giant Internet Capital Group (ICG) as general counsel, and was later promoted to chief operating officer.
"The rocket ship of internet companies experienced a bit of violent ups and downs at that time. It was a terrifying experience, but you grow up through crises. No regrets," says Nassau. ICG saw its market share surge to $500 million six months after it went public before beginning its descent in 2000.
Reminiscing his time with ICG, Nassau responded in jest. "One of the qualities of a good lawyer is being curious." He says he had joined the company because he was inquisitive and wanted to be a businessman some day. One interesting aspect at the time was that had ICG entered into a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa in Tokyo. "We still maintain a good relationship and we still represent them," he reveals.
Nassau hadn't crossed the Rubicon. His affection for the people and the environment at Dechert later prodded him to quit ICG and return to Dechert.
Talking about his management experience, Nassau says: "I'm here to make sure I understand what my partners want, and my colleagues to be successful financially, engaging with clients and getting all the resources they want. Finally, to be sure they have fun. I'm very focused on the quality of experience for the associates."
He remains tuned to the growth of technology, but he doesn't think it's an overnight thing but a gradual process they need to pay attention to.
Nassau's daily routine is to try to be awake and get online by 4 o'clock each morning to deal with the constant communication - the avalanche of e-mails coming in from all over Asia.
"The biggest thing I do is to ensure that we grow in major markets, and that the other offices are in line with the business we excel in. We also try to recruit the best talents we possibly can, and talk to those who're not doing so well," says Nassau.
His advice for the younger generation who would like to follow in his footsteps is to work hard and be prepared to do whatever they intend to do if they fail. On top of all, like himself, they must be curious and honest.
(HK Edition 06/16/2017 page1)