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06 JUN 2019 (THU) 18:00-20:00

From Reading Geography to Top Business Careers

Exchange Square, Central

James Riley Group Chief Executive, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, HK

About the Speaker:

James Riley studied geography at Durham University in the UK and is Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, based in Hong Kong.

During his career with Jardine Matheson, James served as Finance Director of Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Jardine Pacific and as Managing Director of Jardine Pacific before being appointed Jardine Matheson’s Group Finance Director in 2005.

Prior to joining Jardine Matheson, James qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London and then spent seven years as an investment banker with Kleinwort Benson.

From 2012 to 2016, James was a non-executive Director of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Chairman of its Audit Committee. He is also Chairman of The Royal Geographical Society in Hong Kong and Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.


The world is full of geographers who made it to the top in an incredible variety of professions, from Prime Ministers to Principals and from Entrepreneurs to Executives. In his introductory talk, James talks of how the unique skills imbued by geography helped enhance his career leading to running one of Hong Kong’s largest companies. He discusses how geography’s unique holistic approach to studying the modern world, equips the modern manager – and particularly in a world where geographical issues are at the forefront of most decisions. He also discusses why geography’s equal emphasis on numeracy, literacy and critical analysis is all the more important in employment today.

Following James’s comments, he and other geographers holding different senior roles in Hong Kong are available to answer questions from the audience.

This is an event to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the Department of Geography and sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong


Places are limited to 65! Prior registration is required.

Please express your interest, together with a personal statement, by email to on or before 24 May 2019 (Monday). Confirmation emails will be sent on or before 31 May 2019 (Monday).


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