Financial Planning / Wealth Management

Bona fide

by Grace Chan

Ivy Heung
senior relationship manager
Citigold Private Client
Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited
Photo: Lewis Wong
Wealth management is a long-term process that requires of planners professional knowledge, a meticulous mindset, perseverance and patience. When high net worth customers are generally financial savvy and knowledgeable, only professional and heartfelt assistance can work best and lead to a lasting relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

"It may take years to gain trust from high net worth customers whose financial needs are largely different from those of general banking customers," says Ivy Heung, senior relationship manager, Citigold Private Client, Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited.

Ms Heung started her banking career as a teller in 2000 and later moved up to the position of personal banker before progressing to relationship manager. She has taken up her current position since 2008.

Her comprehensive client experience stood her in good stead and won her one of the three finalist places at the new high net worth client group in the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards.

Enhanced professionalism

Shifting from wealth accumulation to wealth management, affluent individuals tend to expect sophisticated financial solutions for wealth preservation and asset transfer. "Equally challenging is to understand their financial needs while convincing them to move their assets," notes Ms Heung, adding that it is essential for practitioners in the field to continuously update their knowledge and skills and enhance professional competence.

In addition to pursuing professional qualifications, Ms Heung also receives extensive training that equips her with all the necessary soft and technical skills.

"Considering the constantly changing market environment, Citibank offers us refresher training every year. We are also granted access to regular classes on new products and services," she says. "As my clients hail from diverse backgrounds, with some professionals and some veteran businessmen, I have gained fruitful knowledge of different industries from them as well."

Riding on the support and expertise of the bank's specialist teams, Ms Heung is able to help her high net worth clients to achieve specific financial goals while taking risk management and long-term asset protection into consideration.

"We are also keen on the follow-up service so as to ensure that our clients feel their concerns are always taken care of. This is how long-term client trust can be cultivated," she notes.

In light of the growing population of high net worth individuals in Hong Kong and mainland China, Citibank has recently rolled out a Citigold Private Client servicing model to cater to the specific wealth management needs of these customers with assets of between US$1 million and US$10 million.

Ms Heung credits the bank's 24-hour toll free system for offering both local and overseas clients convenient access to the banking service anytime and anywhere.

In the course of preparing for the HKIB competition, she found the bank's team effort and exceptional support most encouraging and rewarding. "Our previous award winners came along and shared with me their winning tips and experience of the competition," she reveals. "My supervisor and colleagues from different departments attended my rehearsals for the final presentation, giving constructive suggestions to improve my presentation skills."

Her refined presentation skills have helped her progress in the competition and achieve more effective communication with clients. "Creating superior customer experiences has always been a focal point," she says.

Taken from Career Times 22 October 2010, A9
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