• Adam Harper

One year on, the dream is alive

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

By Adam Harper

One year ago, my HSBC gardening leave ended and I launched Ashbury. After years of being part of a large team, I was on my own at a rented desk with a laptop and mobile in front of me. I was excited and, frankly, terrified in equal measure. The ambition to run my own communications consultancy had been with me for a long time (just ask my wife), but the point at which the dream became real brought with it a sobering question: is this going to work?

Photo: Scott Welzbacher / Unsplash

Repaying faith

One year on, the dream is still alive – and there are more dreamers.

Ashbury has grown to a core team of three with others making valuable contributions. Another new colleague will be joining us at the beginning of February. I am enormously proud of the traction we have built with a growing number of global clients from across the financial services spectrum and want to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has placed their confidence in Ashbury. Every day, we do our utmost to repay that faith.

Today, Ashbury helps banks, insurance companies, alternative asset managers, fintech firms and industry associations to build and differentiate their reputations in Asia. I believe the distinctive way in which we integrate communications strategy with original content has been the key to this, along with our experience in the financial sector and our subject matter expertise in ESG and, increasingly, fintech.

Signs of renewal

When I started out last January, I remember people asking me whether I thought this was a good time to launch a business in Hong Kong because of the protests here. None of us had any idea of what Covid-19 would do to the world in 2020. As we begin 2021, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but the pandemic is causing more suffering and death around the world than ever before.

Recognising that a time of growth and opportunity for us has been a time of great hardship for many, Ashbury is marking its first anniversary by donating HKD25,000 to Caritas Hong Kong, which supports many of the most vulnerable people in our community.

It may be the depths of winter – literally in the Northern Hemisphere and metaphorically so around the world – but there are signs of renewal out there.

Vaccines are being rolled out. A new U.S. President will be sworn in this week. Governments, investors and companies are taking action on climate change and social justice. Social platforms are finally being forced towards a reckoning about the role they play in society.

I don’t underestimate the seriousness of the risks we face and I wouldn’t make blithe predictions about everything turning out just fine. But, at the very least, I think there is evidence that the world is doing more to recognise its problems, which is the first step towards recovery.

Wherever you are, I wish all our clients and friends good health and every success in the year ahead.

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