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Money Moves

Extensive training sharpens dealers' expertise

by Jacky Wong

Elizabeth Liu (left), personnel and administration manager
Angel Ma, assistant to director, retail sales department
Phillip Securities (HK) Ltd
Photo: Nolly Leung

In a bid to provide more professional and customised investment advice to clients, Phillip Securities (HK) Ltd is now lengthening the training period for all of its newly recruited dealers to expand their financial knowledge and enhance their competence.

Angel Ma, assistant to the director, retail sales department, Phillip Securities (HK) Ltd, says previously every newly recruited dealer completed a one-month training programme. However, plans are underway to extend some dealers' training to half a year in the company's research department to cultivate market research techniques and familiarise them with economic outlooks, financial analysis skills and stock and derivates markets.

Ms Ma says the move is a response to clients' expanding financial knowledge and dealers' changing roles in client service. "We find that dealers now offer more than administration and trading activities to clients. They also advise clients on their wealth and financial management. Therefore, our dealers must acquire more comprehensive financial knowledge and wider exposure to different markets to provide clients with superior professional advice," she explains.

After the six-month training programme, the new recruits will be assigned to senior staff to continue training. The company describes this as its own "continuous professional development" programme. Highlights include morning briefing sessions, sharing ideas with listed companies' chief executive officers and extensive on-the-job training.

Established in 1984, Phillip Securities is an integrated financial services company providing comprehensive financial services to individuals and corporate investors and institutions. Services range from asset management, unit trusts, hedge funds, insurance planning, investment research and broking in bonds, securities, futures contracts and foreign exchange.

In the face of keen competition from other financial services firms and banking institutions, Ms Ma believes that Philips Securities' edge lies in the quality and "one-stop" service offered to clients.

"Customer-service dealing has emerged as a dominant trend in the finance industry. We believe good customer service is the key to success in the market," she adds.

The entry requirement for a dealer is a university degree, with at least two years' work experience, but Ms Ma says the company will also consider candidates without a degree but with a passion for the finance industry and a positive attitude towards client service. However, all recruits must pass the Licensing Examination for Securities and Futures Intermediaries.

Elizabeth Liu, the company's personnel and administration manager, says the industry has witnessed an increasing staff turnover rate over the past year. To enhance employees' sense of belonging and provide a stimulating environment for career growth, the company offers more promotional opportunities as a means to retain high-performing staff.

"When considering better remuneration and career prospects, we help our dealers define their ideal salary packages and give them incentives and guidelines to accomplish their targets," Ms Liu says.

Another distinctive initiative for staff retention is the "boom bonus" which is an additional monetary offer to acknowledge extra effort in the current competitive market. Staff activities are also organised, along with opportunities for new recruits to meet senior management to review professional prospects.


Taken from Career Times 03 August 2007, p. A2

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