Women in finance: Teresa Ko Yuk-Yin

Freshfield's Teresa Ko earned her place among the region's most influential women by providing legal advice on some trailblazing capital market transactions.

Teresa Ko Yuk-Yin is a founding partner of law firm Freshfield’s equity capital markets practice and provided legal advice on some of Greater China’s landmark transactions in the last year.

During her 25-year career, she has helped state-owned enterprises in different sectors to list in Hong Kong. In one recent deal Ko worked on CITIC Pacific’s $36.5 billion asset injection and $6.8 billion share placement. Freshfields was the exclusive international legal advisor to CITIC Pacific.

“This is a critical step in the evolution of Chinese SOEs and Hong Kong’s equities market alike,” Ko said of the deal. “Global investors will now have the opportunity to directly share in the prosperity of one of China’s most prestigious and well-known companies.”

She has also given legal opinion on numerous privately owned businesses seeking to list in Hong Kong. In December she advised 19 book runners on Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties’ initial public offering, Hong Kong’s largest listing in 2014.

Ko has been active in promoting Hong Kong listings to international companies. She advised on the flotation of L’Occitane International —  the first French company to list in Hong Kong —  and more recently advised sole sponsor Morgan Stanley on a secondary listing of Hong Kong depositary receipts by Japanese group Fast Retailing.

Ko has an equally impressive record in public and private mergers and acquisitions, including Citic Group and Citic Ltd.’s sale and subscription of shares to a consortium of investors formed by CP Group and Itochu Corp. for $10.3 billion. Freshfields also advised on the $24 billion reorganisation and spin-off of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Property.

Ko is a non-executive directors of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. “Ko has provided useful advice and guidance on the performance of functions by the SFC during her tenure,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Finance.

She became a partner in 1993 and has a first class master’s degree in law from Jesus College, Cambridge and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

FinanceAsia’s 2015 honour roll of the most influential women across the Asia Pacific region spans investment and commercial bankers.

Published as a feature in the July / August 2015 print edition of FinanceAsia, the series also presents leading women in new areas of finance such as fintech where Asian companies are among the fastest-growing in the world.

We also canvassed corporate financiers for exceptional women working in deal advisory including lawyers and accountants. In the process of researching the series, we found evidence of progress in creating more diverse workplaces in the region.

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