At first New York scared him. Everything seemed so big, so fast, so tough.
But it did not take long for Steve Wong — who came from Hong Kong in 1996 on a temporary assignment with Marsh & McLennan — to stop feeling like a stranger. 'Steve loved to be here,' said his wife, See See. 'He could learn more here, see more, visit more different places, talk to more different people.'
Mr. Wong, 34, and his wife rented an apartment in Jersey City, had a baby girl, Jacqueline, and decided their future was in America. He dreamed that one day Jacqueline would go to an American college and he would join her there to get his Ph.D. in philosophy. Then he planned to retire from Wall Street and teach others how to define what is important in life.
Mr. Wong already had a clear sense of how to rank life’s offerings. He and his family traveled widely, read voraciously, visited every museum, zoo and historic place they could find. He hated being away from his family but he went to Scotland for his M.B.A. because the British pedigree of his Hong Kong education was recognized there. During his year away he learned how to play the piano and wear a kilt.
'Steve took advantage of all the business, cultural and personal growth opportunities that life afforded him,' said Clyde Fritz, a friend and colleague. 'He had his priorities aligned properly.' Later this month, Mr. Fritz, Mrs. Wong and Jacqueline will fly to Edinburgh to pick up Mr. Wong’s degree.