Money Moves

Facing talent challenge

by Isabella Lee

Ben Kwong
chief operating officer
KGI Asia Limited
Photo: Nolly Leung

Hong Kong's position in the world is currently the envy of many other places. As the gateway to the largest market on the planet — China, it is guaranteed to command attention and investment. Ben Kwong, chief operating officer of KGI Asia Limited, points out that along with a hot stock market with average daily turnover between HK$100 billion and HK$200 billion, demand for financial service providers soars.

Mr Kwong says competition for talent is fierce as all employers in the sector such as banks, insurance companies and financial planning organisations rummage around in the same pool of candidates and there are not enough skilled people to go around.

While an attractive pay package is the most prevalent and direct tool to lure talent, KGI Asia also offers a dynamic work environment and promising future. "Our talent management policy puts great emphasis on training and career development for every individual. These non-financial incentives motivate employees and build fidelity in the workforce," Mr Kwong explains.

Still, the company currently has an extra need for new recruits as it is at the final phase of launching its investment centre in Admiralty, scheduled to open by the end of 2007. Though the core management team was set up earlier, both frontline and back office staff, ranging from investment representatives to managers, are required for more than 50 posts in the new branch that will provide one-stop financial solutions for its customers.

Mr Kwong believes continuous business improvement linked to career prospects is one of the key elements for attracting and retaining talent. Nurturing employees to become professionals, such as by giving sufficient internal guidelines and job rotations, is also essential.

"For fresh graduates, joining KGI Asia means you are ready to explore the many facets of the financial service industry. Since we have a wide scope of functions backed up by a strong capital base, the company has the upper hand to create opportunities in different departments," he says, adding that experienced staff will also appreciate the structured career path available in the vibrant company, which has established its reputation and brand name over the years with its core values of integrity and professionalism.

However, candidates must have the right attitude and ability; and be willing to learn and exercise high analytical power in overcoming everyday challenges. A responsible mindset plus good communication and presentation skills are also important for any positions.

"After a decade of service in Hong Kong, we have won a loyal customer base who supports our growth and development constantly," Mr Kwong notes. As one of Hong Kong's largest equity brokers by market share and one of the 10 largest futures brokers, KGI Asia operates a full-service brokerage firm for retail and institutional clients.

Besides securities-bound products, KGI Asia is expanding varieties and services for its diverse clientele. In addition to the KGI WebTrade that allows users to trade in global markets via the Internet, the coming investment centre will further strengthen the company's presence in the finance sector.

Taken from Career Times 26 October 2007, p. A10
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