Money Moves

Brand name provides support for investors

by Susanna Tai

Kevin Tai (left), managing director, wealth management; Thomas Ng, director, sales and business development wealth management, Sun Hung Kai Financial
Photo: Ringo Lee

Since the demand for financial advice and investment products shows no signs of slowing, companies in the sector are keen to gear up their recruitment plans to keep pace with anticipated growth.

Kevin Tai, managing director, wealth management, Sun Hung Kai Financial, says that two major reasons underlie the continuing expansion. One is the introduction of the MPF in 2000, which has given the public a better understanding of investment fund products; the other is the period of low interest rates, which has taught people about the importance of wealth appreciation. This has led to a greater focus on the options available for better wealth management, including mutual funds, insurance, foreign exchange and equities.

When advising clients, says Thomas Ng, the company's sales and business development director, the main objective should be to achieve long-term financial security and to introduce products that offer the best prospects for stable growth. "We have to understand our customers' investment needs and be able to recommend what is most suitable for them," he adds.

The range of products now available means the process should not be rushed. Therefore, a good financial adviser will help to identify the best options and point out the various pros and cons of specific investment products. This explains why, according to a survey published by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in March 2006, nearly 20 per cent of Hong Kong's retail investors have made use of financial management services during the last two years.

Mr Tai notes that it is much easier for financial advisers to succeed in the industry if they have the support of a well-established company with a recognised reputation and brand name. "The strength of SHK wealth management is that we have teams dedicated to brand building, product support and investment research," he says. The company also maintains a high profile by sponsoring events such as last year's A Sentimental Journey, a play by Connie Chan, and this year's Yundi Li meets Edo de Waart with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

Special movie previews for selected clients have proved another good way of building stronger customer relationships. "We also organise investment seminars, where experts in different areas answer questions from the audience," Mr Tai adds.

Meanwhile, frontline staff have regular sessions with the representatives of fund houses to learn about the outlook for various markets and to pick up the latest information about products and services to pass on to their clients. "We want our 100-strong team of professional financial advisers to have the knowledge to offer clients tailor-made wealth management services," Mr Tai notes.

Taken from Career Times 01 September 2006, p. A2
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