Standing out from the crowd

Man talking to a small audience

5 minute read

With extensive professional experience from working at financial institutions across Asia, CBE alumnus Miles Wu shares his views on digital economies as well as how his ANU degree gave him an edge in the workplace.

From your experience, could you identify the most significant change to the world of financial inclusion?

When I was young, financial inclusion was about providing free loans to people from below-poverty-line backgrounds. Over time, financial institutions have changed their approach from merely providing micro-credit in the late 1990s to broadly relaxing the requirements of account openings. The concept now takes a holistic view in meeting the needs of people’s daily lives, business operations and communities via technologies. Nowadays, organisations and various governments in the Asia-Pacific are becoming proactive in putting forward a goal to reach Universal Financial Access by 2020, which will enable more people to financially manage their lives.

Moreover, from a policy perspective, I have witnessed this proactive nature through the Australian Government led – “financial inclusion action plan”, which aims to improve the financial wellbeing of Australians. This public-private-partnership initiative has helped facilitate real action plans in safeguarding Australian taxpayers’ money to achieve inclusive growth at both an individual and community level.

What are your observations about the expansion of digital economies in Asia?

What has changed is the expanded use of digital technologies in different industries. What was once limited to the development of better applications for the worldwide web, has now grown to the democratisation of data in a secure and standardised manner – where policymakers in Asia are working conjunctively with the private sector to create an open and interconnected digital world. Such development is most notable in the banking sector through application programming interface (API), which encourages open banking and mandates financial institutions to release their data so it can be shared with and accessed by authorised third-party providers. From my personal experience in creating an open API platform for traders and private wealth managers, it is fascinating to see how financial institutions in Asia are taking a big step in this space. This progress is particularly interesting, since financial regulators allow different software components to communicate with each other in promoting more fluid, deep and broad capital markets in Asia.

What makes CBE different [from the other colleges] is the quality of the academic staff, who are willing to share their industry experiences.

During your undergraduate studies you had a keen interest in finance, marketing and corporate sustainability related subjects. How have you been able to apply your theoretical knowledge of these subjects into your workplace?

Theoretical knowledge is important, but the ability to apply the theories is more crucial. What makes the ANU College of Business and Economics different is the quality of the academic staff, who are willing to share their industry experiences as practical examples, in addition to the theoretical knowledge. The flexibility of my undergraduate degree allowed me to upskill my business acumen through studying interdisciplinary business subjects including finance, marketing and corporate sustainability. With my interest in areas of public policy and the financial industry, I was fortunate to learn about social impact investments earlier than my peers in the financial industry did, and was able to apply my knowledge in real practice, which helped me gain a competitive advantage in my career. 

After graduating from ANU with a degree in Commerce, you held several key positions across the region. In what ways do you feel your experience at ANU could be linked to your success?

Having an ANU degree made me standout from the crowd. The University’s highly respected global ranking and its employer recognition proved advantageous. I am fortunate and proud to have lived in an intellectually rich environment that expanded my thinking beyond one discipline. 

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs in Commerce. Click here for more details.