Humza Vanderman

“Send a lot of emails, read replies, make a few calls, go to meetings, then send more email.”

What kinds of clients do you work with?

Leading publically listed companies, family-owned businesses, high growth start-ups, government related agencies, multinationals operating in Southeast Asia, Asian companies growing internationally and high-net-worth individuals. The variety of work in Southeast Asia is immense, with organizations of all shapes and sizes increasingly recognising the importance that communications can play in their success and growth.

How is working in Singapore different from any other part of the world?

Singapore is undoubtedly the most humid location of the Finsbury offices.

What's the most challenging part of your job?

To even try and treat Southeast Asia as a homogenous region would be a big mistake; with substantial differences in culture, religion, politics, media, business dynamics, as well as language, there is no such thing as a standard approach. Therefore, in order to give quality advice it’s essential we understand the distinctions and nuances across the region and ensure they’re taken into consideration in all communications. Oh, that and the traffic… until you’ve been to Jakarta, Bangkok or Manilla you cannot begin to comprehend how difficult it is to get around.

What's been the most rewarding experience of your time at Finsbury?

Unquestionably the last two years I have spent in Singapore, building Finsbury’s business across Southeast Asia to where we are now – advising many of the leading, most recognized companies in the region.


Oxford comma: Yes or no?

Let’s be clear: the Oxford comma is not an optional bit of punctuation. So if your style guide says ‘no’, you cannot just delete an Oxford comma from a sentence; you need to rewrite it. Would my style guide say ‘no’? Absolutely not.

What do you think is the most important strength for a communications professional to have?

Empathy, in its broadest sense. You need to be able to put yourself into the shoes of the target audience(s), whoever they may be, to understand their mentality, views, arguments and, consequently, how that may lead them to react and influence others.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?’

‘Always be concise’. Taking heed of such advice remains a daily struggle.