Cultural Agility in Cross-Border M&As with Rebecca Pang, VP of Treasury Solutions, RBC

In this episode of Business Beyond Borders, we're joined by Rebecca Pang, Vice President of Treasury Solutions at a leading Canadian Bank. Rebecca shares her journey from transitioning from a strategist specializing in mergers and acquisitions to an innovator in payment system advancements, offering insights into how efficient payment processes not only streamline processes for business owners but also serve as catalysts for growth and opportunity.

*The responses provided here have been rephrased for brevity and clarity. For the exact answers and a comprehensive understanding, we strongly recommend watching the full video podcast or tuning into the audio podcast.

Q: What inspired your journey into the financial services space, specifically focusing on Treasury Solutions and strategic business development?

A: I'm always fascinated by the role banks play in society and in connecting businesses that require capital with investors. My career in banking is built on the dynamic intersection of numbers and strategy. I've done strategy as a management consultant, mergers and acquisitions, and now I'm focusing on payment innovations.

Q: What trends have you observed in payments and how are cross-border payments shaping up in the industry?

A: One trend is real-time payments, making payments faster, especially for cross-border transactions. Another trend is the importance of payment information, ensuring payments travel with the necessary information for easy reconciliation.

Q: How was the experience of acquiring a foreign entity, especially back in the days when there was no playbook to refer to?

A: Acquiring a foreign entity was complex, especially with different languages, cultures, and regulatory regimes. Building trust, understanding the other party's perspective, and clearly communicating the value proposition were crucial.

Q: What tips do you have for professionals moving to a new country to build their network and integrate into the local business community?

A: Join local professional organizations related to your field or interests. Attend networking events, and challenge yourself to meet new people. It's important to find common ground and be disciplined about networking.

Q: What advice would you give to introverts who struggle with reaching out in professional settings?

A: The key is to push yourself to say that first hello. Once you're in the conversation, it becomes much easier. Reflecting on my move to the US, being agile and resilient has been crucial. Immigrants often have a high level of resilience, which is a valuable trait in any professional setting. Additionally, being multilingual or having a unique cultural background can make you more competitive in certain client settings.

Q: How have you engaged with the community, especially within the Asian community in Toronto?

A: Volunteering helped me find my purpose in Canada. I sit on the board of e-Home, a senior housing organization for Asians, and the Toronto Zoo to help immigrants enjoy the zoo. I focus on causes related to youth empowerment, education, and healthcare, which I believe are crucial for a strong, sustainable society.

Q: What motivated you to fund a scholarship for international students at the Ted Rogers School of Management?

A: I wanted to give international students a sense of belonging and support during their studies. I understand the challenges of being an international student and wanted to help make their experience more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Q: How important has mentorship been in your personal journey, and how do you continue to mentor others?

A: Mentorship has been crucial, especially during big transitions like moving countries or changing industries. I continue to seek out mentors and mentees, believing that mentorship is a two-way street. I mentor individuals with similar backgrounds, helping them navigate their careers and overcome challenges.

Q: What trends are you excited about in the financial industry for 2024?

A: I'm excited about the continued advancements in AI and its potential to make us more productive. Sustainable financing is gaining momentum, with more companies considering ESG factors in their decisions. Cybersecurity and fraud prevention remain critical areas for innovation, requiring ongoing investment and employee education.

Q: Any final thoughts or advice for professionals?

A: Embrace new technologies and trends in your industry, but also focus on building resilience and embracing challenges. Stay open-minded, continue learning, and be proactive in seeking out opportunities for personal and professional growth.

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