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Financial Planning / Wealth Management

Good reputation

by Grace Chan

Jenny Wong, vice president
private banking department
Hang Seng Bank Limited
Photo: Dickie Tam
Handling the financial planning demands of high net worth individuals requires a broad range of sophisticated skills and knowledge, including how to set up trust funds and manage off-shore assets. Wealth managers working in this area also need a high level of integrity and must be reliable and responsible.

In the past 10 years of her career in the industry, Jenny Wong, vice president, private banking department, Hang Seng Bank Limited, has built up a reputation for demonstrating these essential attributes.

Having moved up the ranks from financial planner to relationship manager, followed by branch manager and, now, private banker, Ms Wong has extensive experience and is one of the group C finalists in this year's Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards. The group C category has been newly introduced to focus on the requirements of high net worth clients.

"Instead of selling products off the shelf, I analyse my clients' interests and then seek the best solutions to address any gaps in their investment plans," Ms Wong states. "I conduct thorough market research, consult specialists from different Hang Seng Bank departments and perform a detailed analysis before mapping out a set of personalised financial strategies.

A competent and confident private banker should help clients achieve the best global asset allocation," she says.

Clients first

A long-term, trusting relationship cannot be built overnight. This is particularly true in the case of affluent customers who value their privacy and generally have assets at more than one bank.

"Part of my job is to offer professional, reliable advice," Ms Wong notes. "Considering the long-term nature of financial planning, it's also my responsibility to caution clients when they're too focused on a single financial product or service provider."

She believes that keeping abreast of the latest market trends and current affairs is crucial. "I once learnt about an opportunity to invest in car parks and immediately informed a client who is keen on property investment. He was impressed," she recalls.

A personal touch makes all the difference, too. "I talk to my clients about their interests and tell them about good restaurants I've been to and nice travel destinations. Since many of them enjoy a game of golf and wine tasting, I also invite them to exclusive events hosted by the bank," notes Ms Wong. "I enjoy making new friends and expanding my scope of interests. This also helps to increase my understanding of my clients' lifestyles."

This year was Ms Wong's first to participate in the HKIB Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards. She found that the competition helped her to consolidate her skills and knowledge as a professional in the field.

Advice from her supervisor and colleagues who attended her rehearsal for her final presentation gave her confidence.

"For example, I didn't realise that I spoke a bit too fast, because my clients always have busy schedules. Following the feedback from my colleagues, I worked on improving my communication skills. This will definitely stand me in good stead in future," she concludes.

Taken from Career Times 22 October 2010, A10

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