Money Moves

A feat in integrity

by Nicolette Wong

Integrity Partnership Limited - Training
Denny Chan, chief executive officer, Integrity Partnership Limited
Photo: Edde Ngan

Industry forerunner in financial advisory levels the playing field for budding entrepreneurial aspirants

Hong Kong's booming financial industry is world-famous for its agility and strong resilience. This global standing is attributable primarily to best practice, professionalism, as well as integrity.

"In the face of growing complexity and competition, players in the field ride on the increasing compliance standards and sophisticated service matrix as well as product innovation to maintain their competitive advantages," says Denny Chan, chief executive officer, Integrity Partnership Limited.

An emerging player in the market, Integrity thrives on pioneering business ideas and work towards achieving its missions, which are to revolutionise the financial advisory industry in Hong Kong and enhance its professional status continuously. "The financial industry plays an instrumental role in Hong Kong's prosperity, so we find it important to step up public education about financial planning concepts and practice," Mr Chan notes. "We must also enhance our human resources in order to continue down the growth path."

Fresh impetus

In the cutthroat financial planning industry, customer relations have always been a trump card. "Service is a priority and we play it by trust and respect," emphasises Mr Chan.

To this end, the company spearheaded Guaranteed Advice, a unique financial advisory concept in Hong Kong. In a nutshell, Guaranteed Advice puts the company's advisors and their customers through a lengthy of standard procedure in which advisors walk their customers through a comprehensive analysis of their financial situations, objectives and other important aspects of their financial portfolios.

"The entire process is documented in writing for future reference. Our customers can rest easy that the recommendations made are accurate and reliable. But, this is not just about protecting the rights and interest of our customers," Mr Chan stresses. "There's a great deal of trust in it."

He remarks that Guaranteed Advice is already widely accepted and adopted in leading financial markets in the US and Europe, where compliance standards are stringent and customers savvier. He believes that this tried and tested practice will move the local financial advisory industry up another notch.

To promote this, Integrity is on the lookout for high-calibre professionals for Integrity Inspiration, a talent development drive that aims at grooming future leaders in the financial advisory industry.

Mr Chan explains that the ideal job candidates should have some experience in the field. Ambitious individuals that are seeking a breakthrough in their careers may be suited to the job but he points out that the company looks for only the very best talent and that a superlative level of integrity is expected of the applicants.

Business ownership

Prior to joining the Integrity team, job hopefuls are required to attend an initial interview. Selected candidates will then join a 12-month development programme. During this time, they study the company's business model, practice, systems, as well as for all necessary licences, with assistance from designated coaches. The advisors-to-be also receive one-on-one coaching through an interactive, e-learning platform. A series of competency assessments follow.

"We installed this initial development process in Integrity Inspiration because we don't work by the traditional bancassurance or agency systems," Mr Chan reveals. "Our network business model is prevalent in major markets like those in the US and Europe and it gives our people true ownership to their business."

He elaborates, "Our financial advisors are also our business partners who build, grow and rightfully own their business networks in addition to share options. This gives our advisors great motivation to develop and deliver their professional expertise in a continuous manner for the long-term, sustainable development of their professional lives, the company, and the industry in Hong Kong."

In Mr Chan's opinions, financial planning is a sophisticated process that, with the right tools and intelligence, yields returns over a period of time. "Part of the job of a financial advisor is to use their expertise to their customers' best interest. There have to be volatilities and uncertainties but then the integrity and competence of our people shine through in the end."

He concludes, "By introducing innovative models in financial advisory services and by developing competent talent, we give our industry a fresh image. We believe that innovation will attract quality talent to tap this exciting, changing industry to drive further changes for the better."

Bucking the trend

  • Twelve-month training aligns and adjusts career expectations
  • New business model set to revolutionise established industry
  • Tried and tested financial advisory mechanism offers customers ease of mind
  • Financial advisors take business ownership

Taken from Career Times 1 October 2011

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