Money Moves

Follow the money

by Jacky Wong

Ben Kwong
chief operating officer
KGI Asia Limited
Photo: Johnny Kwok

Under the current economic upturn, banks and financial institutions are set to attract more new recruits and experienced professionals to widen their presence in the market.

Over the past 10 years, KGI Hong Kong Group has successfully developed from a small-scale local broker into a multi-faceted financial services group, all thanks to the company's good management of human capital which is as important as the development of innovative products and services.

KGI commenced its operations in 1997 by acquiring Seapower Securities and Seapower Futures. Since then, it has become one of the largest and most active brokerage firms in Hong Kong and a pioneer in electronic trading of stocks, debt instruments and mutual funds. The company currently employs around 400 staff, while clients number some 40,000 across Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. An aggregation of shareholders' equity of over US$60 million makes KGI a strong presence in the territory's securities market.

Up-scale development

Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia Limited says KGI surpasses competitors with its strong financial capacity, innovative information technology, full range of investment products and services, and continuous staff development.

"In the face of keen competition from banks and international counterparts, we have to be up-scale in our business scope and product categories to provide our clients with one-stop value-added consultancy services," Mr Kwong says.

He adds that KGI's mission is to become the region's premier integrated Asian-based financial services group and the preferred choice for international corporations in investment management, as well as the acknowledged market leader in both client services and ethical standards.

KGI has regional brokerage services, assets management, corporate finance and direct and private equity investments, structured products such as derivatives, fixed income and hybrid products. Insurance products will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

"We put heavy emphasis on developing our human capital," Mr Kwong says. The company strives to thoroughly understand new recruits' personalities, professional knowledge and work experience to ensure that they are placed in the most appropriate positions for stretching their professional knowledge and their personal development. New recruits undergo a series of in-house training in customer services, communication and presentation skills. Sales professionals are additionally required to fulfil the industry requirements by undertaking continual professional development programmes on a regular basis.

Mr Kwong admits that KGI faces increasing pressure in staff retention and recruitment issues. However, he believes the company's culture and career prospects give it an edge.

"We advocates team spirit and promotes a culture of perpetual personal and professional development. We continuously accelerate the pace of our business growth and market development and this means our existing staff have a brighter career future," he concludes.

Taken from Career Times 13 July 2007, p. A2
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