Money Moves

Financial certification a breeze with substantial windfall from employer

by Maggie Tang

Henry Wu (centred), senior vice president, customer centre
consumer banking, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
Photo: Edde Ngan

Wealth management services are in huge demand today, partly thanks to improved living standards and greater affluence of people based in emerging economies such as China and India. Opportunities for professionals interested in building a career in wealth management currently abound, but to succeed in the field takes more than a calculator and a smile.

Anchored in Asia, DBS Bank considers its people the most crucial asset binding the company, for they play a determining role in the overall success of the bank. Henry Wu, senior vice president, customer centre, consumer banking, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited says, "Wealth management is a core development focus of our bank. The business of wealth management is knowledge-based and relationship-driven, so the frontline staff must have outstanding hard and soft skills to excel in the market."

To advise clients on asset management, successful financial planners must demonstrate profound and comprehensive knowledge which requires well-designed formal training such as CFMPTM (certified financial management planner). In view of this, DBS offers full subsidies which cover the CFMPTM fees for its high-potential staff in the customer centre.

The CFMPTM programme is organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB), and choosing it as a staff training initiative was a calculated decision, explains Mr Wu. "The HKIB has served training needs in the local banking industry for decades so they understand what banks want. The programme is tailored for wealth management personnel in the banking sector, covering a comprehensive range of subjects including regulatory frameworks, investment and insurance," he says, adding that the programme also incorporates soft skills training such as communications.

DBS has subsidised a total of three intakes of customer centre staff who have undergone the CFMPTM programme. To be eligible for the subsidy, employees must demonstrate both focus and drive, exemplified by a desire to improve language ability or upgrade existing skills. Mr Wu believes that the training is invaluable to staff, customers and the bank. "The knowledge learned in the programme contributes to the overall growth of staff. Armed with substantial knowledge, our team can anticipate client needs and offer better service and benefits. For the bank, having a more capable workforce positively impacts on business," he explains.

From a macro perspective, according to Mr Wu, three factors contribute to business success: technology, organisational design and people. "The first two factors are lifeless without people. It is the people who turn objectives into reality," Mr Wu notes.

"Remuneration is not the only motivational factor. We feel everyone working at DBS has a high degree of job satisfaction and a wide scope of career opportunities. Our training initiative aims to upgrade the intellectual capital of our staff, paving the way for lateral development and vertical advancement," concludes Mr Wu.

Up and away

  • Exceptional personnel offered full funding for CFMPTM
  • Third intake already heading for success
  • Upgrading intellectual capital a priority

Taken from Career Times 18 April 2008, p. A4
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