Money Moves

Focus on professional financial advice

by Wing Kei

This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

Kevin Tai, managing director, Sun Hung Kai Wealth Management Limited
Photo: Jerry Leung

Most of us have friends who are only too willing to hand out investment advice and stock market tips, but that simply doesn't compare to the advice available from a trained expert able to analyse the full extent of your personal investment needs.

Sun Hung Kai Wealth Management Limited has a team of such professionals and believes that the sector in which they work has great potential for expansion in Hong Kong in the coming years. The company currently offers wealth management services and specialises in personalised financial planning and investment advisory services for corporations and individuals.

"You simply have to believe in wealth management if you want to be good at the job," says managing director Kevin Tai. "As a Hong Kong-based company, we are very strong in providing tailor-made services for clients and we have established trust and security for our customers. Our target is to become a benchmark for the industry and to improve our online trading platform with a wide variety of investment products," he says.

The wealth management team was established about two years ago and there are now five retail outlets in Hong Kong and one in Macau. Mr Tai notes that the general public tends to compare wealth management companies with banks and independent financial advisers (IFAs), but says this is not the best comparison to make. "IFAs are not our direct competitors mainly because we offer one-stop advisory services to clients based on their immediate financial needs," he says. The products on offer include stocks, warrants, mutual funds, commodities and unit-linked savings.

The Sun Hung Kai team currently has 81 dedicated financial consultants, of whom around 40 per cent have either obtained the certified financial planner (CFP) certification or passed the chartered financial analyst (CFA) exams. "In the short term, we aim to expand our team to about 100 to 120 people," he says.

Mr Tai has been with SHK Financial Group for five years and was appointed to his current position in August. "I made the right decision to move from investment banking and now get much more job satisfaction," he notes.

Since wealth management is a service-driven industry, it is vital to understand each customer's financial background and to know that success comes from realising it is basically a people business.

In view of this, Mr Tai says that those best suited to the job are outgoing, talkative, enthusiastic, proactive and patient. "They also need to be willing to take on new challenges," he says.

The recruitment process is designed to identify the best available talent, and those who join the company receive ongoing training and practical support. "These programmes are closely tied to our long-term business goals and plans to expand the distribution of fund products," says Mr Tai. "Our objective is to put the focus on professionalism."

Taken from Career Times 09 September 2005, p. A2
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