Money Moves

Independent approach to financial advice

by Alex Chan

Sherry Yip, general manager, WISDOM Wealth Management Limited
Photo: Ringo Lee

Though many financial planners may claim to offer a full selection of products and services, it sometimes turns out they are not being entirely accurate.

"Many still focus on particular products such as insurance or investment," says Sherry Yip, general manager of WISDOM Wealth Management Limited. "They are not really financial planners, so we prefer to call them insurance or investment consultants."

As an independent financial advisor (IFA), WISDOM can easily tell the difference. Their objective is to help clients by providing products from a diverse list of the world's most successful financial services companies. "It is about delivering recommendations based on 360-degree financial wisdom, whether for risk management, investment, retirement, or tax planning," Ms Yip says.

In Hong Kong, the financial planning sector is still growing fast and is generally seen as one of the most resilient to changes in the overall economic environment. "Even when the economy was down and we were experiencing deflation, the industry continued to grow," Ms Yip adds.

WISDOM's IFA business model has proved to be successful in other countries and is now becoming established locally. Many observers regard it as the likely future direction of the financial planning sector.

The company plans to increase its total of advisers to 100 by the end of 2006, and will target another 100 recruits next year.

Even though competition is tough for candidates with the necessary qualifications and experience, Ms Yip is confident of attracting the best applicants. "We offer competitive remuneration packages, including a basic monthly allowance, a comprehensive induction programme and ongoing training, and a structured career path that is open to all advisers," she explains.

To help new advisers prospect for potential clients, the company provides leads and arranges appointments. There is also a strong support team of paraplanners, providing detailed financial advice for clients and frontline staff. They offer analysis and recommendations, while an advanced IT platform helps with various aspects of customer relationship management.

The most suitable candidates have a university degree and up to two years' relevant sales and marketing experience in a related industry. Fresh graduates are also considered, as long as they show maturity, the right attitude, strong determination to success, and a willingness to learn. "Financial planning services are becoming more professional and we need candidates who have the drive to keep up with the changes taking place in a dynamic market," Ms Yip says.

Taken from Career Times 09 June 2006, p. A2
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