Tori Cowley | Influence 100

Tori Cowley 

Group Chief Communications Officer 
HKEX Group 
Hong Kong



Tori Cowley’s background as a chartered accountant not only makes her more numerate than most communications folk, but it also serves as the ideal grounding for her role as chief communications officer of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which she took on in 2018 after seven years in a similar role with London’s Stock Exchange.

Cowley’s position with HKEX has seen her transform the communications function to notable effect, giving the low-profile entity a more visible positioning as a key driver of Hong Kong’s reputation. And while the latter has seen its share of challenges in recent times, the city’s Stock Exchange remains one of its crown jewels, giving Cowley a unique platform for global storytelling. 

Cowley previously served as EMEA head of communications at Thomson Reuters, after deciding to make a career shift. It’s probably safe to say that the accountancy world’s loss is the communications sector’s gain. 

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?Every day I see its impact. Often most acutely in a crisis situation, but it’s why I love my job, managing reputation is continual.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Navigating complex and fragile geopolitics; and continuing to help drive the post pandemic recovery will be the defining comms themes: an inability to travel for many is becoming very challenging. Supporting staff, will be key, and mental health should be a focus. Opportunities also come in the form of an energised sustainability agenda.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
Its resilience and relevance.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
The lack of value placed on good comms by some organisations at a time when it really is needed.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Swimming in the sea.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
God bless Netflix!

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Running a florist, baking, taking photographs, gardening, hanging out with my kids...

Sum up 2021 in one word.