Heidrick and Struggles




Dear Sir /Madam

Design Chamber International (DCi)

I was the Regional M D of Standard Life Plc. and CEO of Standard Life (Asia) Ltd in Hong Kong from 1996 to 2010.

DCi have been involved from our first set up office moving us into the half a floor in the Center. The care throughout  the design was exemplary and for example we were persuaded to take quality system furniture that looked and performed well but also still looked fresh years later, and withstood several moves. Money well spent! The offices also had a strong corporate image which was developed and refined to be extremely distinctive and used in our expansion into China with a strong “Family resemblance”.

The offices also had a strong corporate image which was developed and refined to be extremely distinctive and used in our expansion into China with a strong “Family resemblance”.

Having an exceptional headquarters led to considerable expansion and DCi helped us take over the whole floor with new separate offices for Standard Life Investments Ltd and these offices were very discreetly linked to maximize the large conference area. The offices were loved by our staff and a real pleasure to work in.

In 2000, we formed a joint venture in Tianjin which resulted in a new Chinese insurer, Heng An Standard Life Insurance Company and expanded our offices in the city center.

The first project was the Sales Office in the old part of Tianjin that had a double height space which Dci made exceptional use of using bright corporate yellow double curved sails that brightened up the space immeasurably in the somewhat dark and grey part of town. This was published along with our new China corporate head office. This housed more than 750 staff which included a large hot desking area. Whilst successfully resembling Standard Life’s corporate appearance in Hong Kong, the clever use of building alterations and art work gave these offices a distinctly Chinese identity.

An unexpected spin off from the work Dci did was that because all their work was published, it resulted in becoming a useful marketing as well as staff recruitment tool for the business. We were surprised to learn the number of candidates who were interested in us as a result of the Dci publicity.

Dci tendered all of these projects and handled them on time and on budget, quite a feat in China. The standard of workmanship was similar to Hong Kong which at the time, was very hard to achieve.

Finally I would like to mention a job for me personally in my house. When I purchased the property in Bisney Road there was an illegal extension over an internal staircase and Steve designed a sliding pitched roof that can be opened with two fingers and yet keeps the house secure and insulated. More impressively, it has survived 4 typhoons and the constant battering all properties receive in Hong Kong from the unfriendly weather. It is such a good solution and receives many comments from new visitors!

He also made a beautiful roof garden and we just had to have one of those parabolic tents with a huge covered area that just neatly rolls up safe for strong winds!

Yours faithfully


Robert Knight

Partner, Heidrick & Struggles. Direct: 21039327 Mob: 67710159


Suite 1408, Two Placific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong Tel: (852) 2103–9300 Fax: (852) 2824-9127
Heidrick & Struggles Hong Kong Ltd. Incorporated with Limited Liability in the U.S.A.
Offices in Principal Cities of the World

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