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The Dragon and the CrownHong Kong Memoirs$
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Stanley S.K. Kwan and Nicole Kwan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099555

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099555.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Roots
The Dragon and the Crown

Stanley S.K. Kwan

Nicole Kwan

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter offers a glimpse into the life of Stanley Kwan. The founder of the Hang Seng Index, Stanley Kwan was not a banker in the beginning. Born to a traditional family of bankers, banking however came to Kwan in his latter life. This chapter provides a chronicle of the ancestral roots of the Kwan family, including their struggles and challenges within the British-ruled Hong Kong, and their triumphs and struggles with their first entry to the banking world through the traditional Chinese yinhao or native banks. Hailing from China, the Kwan family moved to Hong Kong at the end of the Qing dynasty and at the start of the British invasion. In Hong Kong, through an uncle who now stood as the family patriarch, the Kwans ventured into banking wherein after being successful was forced into bankruptcy—an event that forced Stanley Kwan's family, who lived under the shadows of his uncle, to venture into banking alone. While Stanley Kwan's father was initially successful in banking, he too suffered bankruptcy, forcing his son at a young age to work as an assistant in the relatively new and small bank Tin Fuk.

Keywords:   Stanley Kwan, Hang Seng, banking, Hong Kong, yinhao, bank, British

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