Liu (pictured) replaces Ellmon Fung, who resigned from the company this summer.
She will team up with Kao, who joined the Gate on 1 July, to lead the 48-employee Hong Kong office and expand a client base that includes Bank of China, BOCOM International, HSBC, State Street Global Advisors and Wyndham Hotel Group.
Liu said she joined The Gate to work with Kao, a respected figure in the ad industry, on his vision: to build The Gate into a unique specialist and challenger agency with a strong tradition in financial services. The Gate does not want to be in direct competition with 4A agencies, nor to be pigeonholed, but hopes to expand into different categories in professional services that require more specialised, mature and sophisticated expertise.
Liu brings to the table more than 20 years in advertising, with extensive regional experience, particularly in Hong Kong, China and Singapore.
Prior to joining The Gate, Liu was most recently general manager of Alan Chan Design for five years, handling its integrated branding solutions business, ranging from interior design and retail to art gallery.
She has served the advertising sector in various senior positions, including as director of client service at Euro RSCG Hong Kong, as group account director at Saatchi & Saatchi Beijing. She has also worked for Leo Burnett in Singapore, JWT and Y&R. She has accumulated solid experience in working for banking and telecommunication clients such as Hang Seng Bank, Smartone, Singapore Telecommunications and pharmaceutical clients in China.
Greater China has in recent years seen the emergence of a number of independent Western agencies that hire local talents to lead their China expansions.
Fiona Ng, former managing director of Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia, has taken up a senior management role at Cimarron Group's first China office in Beijing. Cimarron is a Hollywood-based marketing communications firm specialising in entertainment, hospitality and automotive, with clients such as MGM Grand Sanya, MGM Grand Ho Tram, Diaoyutai Hotels, Fox Consumer Products and Village Roadshow.
Jung von Matt, the multi-awarded independent creative German agency announced in April this year the launch of Jung von Matt/Tonghui in Beijing, led by Nuno Wu and Jimmy Liang, former deputy MD of Leo Burnett Beijing.
Reported in July last year, five creative agencies based in Milan have joined forces to launch 1.618, an independent creative group in Hong Kong.