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Financial Planning / Wealth Management

Excellence in wealth management

by Nicolette Wong

Dominic Wu, Premier Relationship Manager, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC
Dominic Wu
Premier Relationship Manager
Retail Banking and Wealth Management
HSBC Hong Kong
Photo: Edde Ngan
Financial advisers' key role is to keep their clients updated on market opportunities and changes that might affect their investments. To achieve this, wealth managers must not only have initiative, professional expertise and good communication skills, but also crucial back-office support.

Timely portfolio reviews are particularly important in current volatile market conditions, says Dominic Wu, Premier Relationship Manager, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Hong Kong. Apart from regular scheduled meetings, Mr Wu makes a point of providing additional correspondence and holding extra discussions to ensure that clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions. "My clients know they can seek further advice and analysis at any time," he stresses.

Back-office colleagues and technology platforms also help to facilitate exchanges. Advisers are kept up to date through comprehensive in-house briefings and research reports, while sophisticated IT systems provide detailed overviews of clients' investment situations, risk tolerance and related elements, says Mr Wu, one of the group B finalists in the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards.

Because customers' investment goals change over time, ongoing reassessments ensure that financial portfolios work in their best interests. Age and family circumstances are two major decisive factors, Mr Wu notes, adding that younger people tend to have a higher tolerance for more risky investment options, while those with families usually seek long-term protection.

"Some clients rearrange their medium- and short-term goals if they need capital for something they want to do in the near future, such as taking long overseas trips," he explains. "Prevailing market conditions also play a significant role."

Tailor-made solutions

Although changes in investment priorities generally follow a pattern that corresponds with clients' different life stages, individuals with similar personal circumstances may have vastly different preferences, Mr Wu stresses. Personal background, risk tolerance, future goals and market fluctuations must all be taken into account when financial plans are tailor-made.

HSBC's customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure provides Mr Wu with extensive back-up, helping to set up schedules for portfolio reviews, progress checks and related aspects. "In the recent volatile market, we've been holding our customers' hands to guide them and strengthen our professional image. Hence, our industry expertise remains the most important factor in maintaining long-term, trusting client relationships," he points out.

"Thorough market knowledge and excellent communication skills are vital to present information to our clients in an accessible manner. We must understand their way of thinking and how that relates to changing market trends. Timely telephone calls and other forms of communication are tools to help us enhance our understanding."

Competition rewards

With the HKIB Outstanding Financial Planner Awards in full swing, Mr Wu has over the past months dedicated much time and effort to prepare for the contest. He believes the experience has greatly enhanced his knowledge and given him an increased perspective on the industry, while also boosting his ability to think creatively.

The support of his peers and encouragement of senior managers have significantly bolstered his confidence, and the collective efforts of the Distribution and Strategy Management Team and the Learning and Development Team played a major role in helping him hone his presentation skills, Mr Wu says.

Generous colleagues from other teams have even rearranged their holidays to give him extra preparation time. "A number of previous winners also gave me advice on how to stand out in the competition. My goal for the future is to embrace every challenge and to strive for excellence in everything I do."

Taken from Career Times 11 November 2011, A8

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