Meet Julie Koo: The Coolest Woman of Finance & Mother of Two
by Tiffany Law on Dec 27, 2023
Julie Koo has been one of our cherished customers, known for her impeccable fashion sense and vibrant personality. Amidst her hectic schedule, we are truly grateful having the opportunity to chat with her this afternoon at her breathtaking three-story house located in the beautiful nature-filled area of Stanley in Hong Kong!
Julie is a highly accomplished finance professional with over 30 years of experience in the industry across the globe, including Hong Kong, London, and Boston. Currently a Managing Director and Global Head of Partnerships and Relationship Management at Citi Global Wealth, she is also a single mother of two fabulous children- Layla (21) and Felix (17), as well as her beloved dog, Milo. It's truly astonishing to know how she juggles so many responsibilities in her busy life!
Tell us how it was growing up in the US as a young Korean girl / your childhood?
“We were in the early batch of immigrants from Korea to the US. When we first arrived in Los Angeles, we lived downtown in what was a predominantly Hispanic neighbourhood. Needless to say, we had to learn to adapt pretty quickly. Both my parents had to work so the four of us really raised ourselves in those early years. I still attribute my independence, adaptability and my work ethics to the lessons I learned over that time.”
What made you come to Hong Kong and what do you love living here?
“I was sent to London from Boston by Fidelity Investments for a 2 year assignment. My intention was to move back to Boston after 2 years. Well, 2 years turned into 7+ years. Then, they asked if I would consider a role in either Tokyo or HK. I decided on HK and have been here since."
"I fell in love with HK instantly and my love for this city has only grown stronger over the 18 years I have been here. Outside of the fact that my kids were raised here which makes it home, I have been able to work in the heart of a global financial center. I also enjoy the many lifestyle benefits of HK including hiking, being able to be in the water and having the best food! I really can’t find another city that is as international and dynamic as HK.”
Who is your favorite creative / artist / designer and why?
“I am a die hard fan of Tom Ford. Tom Ford defines what I love about fashion and design - sleek, sensual and luxurious. My family and friends know that I am very particular about lighting, which is heavily influenced by Tom Ford’s belief that ‘nobody looks good in overhead lighting’. My kids have virtually been raised eating in dim lighting. I have also been known to stand up on tables to remove light bulbs in badly lit restaurants or rooms.”
Julie's tips on hosting a great party: "Curate the crowd and seating, make sure lighting is conducive to people relaxing… and of course great music!”
What is your favourite holiday treat and drink?
“While my favourite drinks are usually negronis and tequila, my favourite drink over the holidays is bubbles… it just tastes and feels right over the holiday season… morning or night!”
Julie pouring a glass of her favourite Clase Azul Reposado Tequila (we highly recommend, indeed one of the best tequila I've had in my life!!)
What was your favourite purchase from HULA?
“So many things that I treasure but the most specials piece I bought has to be a vintage Gucci ostrich feather dress I wore to my best friends’ Fucking Fabulous cocktail party at their wedding in Park City. I love that so many of the pieces I have bought from Hula are unique. The Hula team has styled me for many special occasions.”
Beyond her professional achievements, Julie is deeply committed to making a positive difference in her community. She serves on the boards of two non-profit organizations, HELP for Domestic Workers and the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation. Her active involvement empowers domestic workers and fosters the artistic talents of young individuals.
Thank you again Julie for having us and the inspiring stories you've shared!
(Article and Photography by Tiffany Law)