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This month, we’re delighted to feature an interview of IFMA’s board of directors 2nd vice chair, Graham Tier. Graham is an active and dedicated member of the Hong Kong chapter, which proudly recognizes him as an esteemed member.

Graham is head of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, a non-profit charitable organization. Born in Australia, he moved to Hong Kong in 2004, and when he was hired as an executive manager for operations and maintenance, his interest in facility management was piqued and he joined IFMA. (He later restructured the section to be defined as facility management.) He was an active working participant in the rise of the Hong Kong chapter, eventually becoming its president. He’s been a tireless advocate for FM and IFMA. In 2015, he arranged a visit to the Shatin Racecourse for the Hong Kong and China chapters, and that same year he was recognized as IFMA’s November Member of the Month.  You can read more of his biography on IFMA’s website and find out how much he has contributed to the profession and to the organization. Graham shares his thoughts with us here.

Learn more about Graham.


Can you tell us about your career and training background?

I've always had a strong interest for mechanical engineering even as a child. I studied mechanical engineering after leaving school and worked in various technical roles. I then moved more into operations management and studied for a degree at UTS.

I fell into FM after joining The Hong Kong Jockey Club due to my exposure to IFMA Hong Kong. It taught me how FM could really transform operations and benefit the organization.

2008 was a big turning point for me. With support from senior management, we merged our administration and engineering divisions together to form FM. We demonstrated our ability to effectively manage change. We integrated people, processes, and technology, and made the as-built environment more efficient. This made a real difference to the life of people occupying the buildings. We never stand still in FM: we continue to explore opportunities for improvement and drive change.

What are the future trends for the FM profession in Hong Kong?

I believe FM has huge potential. Organizations need change and FM brings that something to the table that other disciplines cannot. Organizations that really and truly embrace FM see the benefits it can deliver.

Is there any advice you can give to aspiring FM professionals?

To aspire to an FM professional there are a number of things you must do on the way, including to be consistent in the way you manage─you need to gain team respect and trust. Then, a lot depends on your personal brand, which is part of your reputation and what you stand for. As I always say to my team: "If you are not passionate about it, then you properly should consider doing something else." Being passionate about your career makes the day go faster and also makes your life more enjoyable!

When were you the president of IFMA Hong Kong Chapter?

I joined IFMA in 2005 and there was no straight path to the top. It's necessary to have a full understanding of chapter operations. In 2009-10, after years of experience, including obtaining my FMP, CFM, and with an instructor qualification under my belt, I was elected as the president of the Hong Kong chapter.

What would be your chief mandate in developing FM in Hong Kong?

I want to make sure that we provide a career path for all levels in the organizations. We developed The Qualification Framework to outline those options in FM.

What was the most memorable event when you were the president of your IFMA chapter?

If asked about the most memorable events during my time as president in IFMA Hong Kong, I would say kicking-off and driving the student membership in 2009, and my first World Workplace conference in the USA. This was a chance for me to meet with other chapter members and obtain a broader experience of the overall IFMA.

What is your view on IFMA's HK Chapter as well as IFMA in Asia?

Looking back on recent years, it's fantastic to see the chapter's growth in China. I recently hosted a joint lunch with the China chapters at our Shatin Racecourse ─ an example of our growing collaboration, and this will not be the last! The Hong Kong Chapter of IFMA is well developed and stable. I think our experience can really help the other APAC chapters get to the next level faster.

Graham's view on the IFMA/RICS collaboration

Apart from international growth, given the strengths and opportunities for both professional associations the IFMA and RICS collaboration is an excellent move. It is really a great thing for the FM profession.

We understand you were as elected member of the month in November 2015. First, we congratulate you! And we would also like to know what exactly did it mean to you and how did you view it?

I need to thank the members for awarding me as Member of the Month for November 2015. Along with that, to be elected as the Second Vice Chair on IFMA's Executive Committee in July of this year was another example of member support behind me. Taking this VC role is an opportunity to better understand the global issues and help drive the Asia region for IFMA.

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About Samson Lee

Samson Lee is Vice President, Facilities Operations-Asia Pacific for AllianceBernstein Hong Kong Limited, the president of the IFMA Hong Kong chapter, and  a member of the Corporate Facilities Council.



Contributed by Samson Lee
An Interview
with Graham Tier
of the Hong Kong Jockey Club
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