The securities and futures trading industry has people at its very core. Realising this, a newly established investment house is intent on building a strong team of professionals providing high-net-worth clients with comprehensive services and specialist investment advice.
Jimei Investment Holdings Limited started operating last month, focusing mainly on securities and futures trading. However, the company has rapidly responded to market needs and is already expanding into corporate finance, as well as gold and foreign exchange trading.
Wholly owned by the Hong Kong-based Jimei Group, which has a diverse range of businesses covering travel, golfing and the gaming industry, Jimei Investment currently employs more than 20 veteran brokers and aims to double this number over the next two to three months.
"We believe now is a good time to attract high-calibre talent, particularly people with private banking experience," says Dennis Chan, vice chairman, Jimei Investment Holdings Limited. "Our dealers do more than merely carry out transactions ¡X they facilitate communication with clients, offering them customised investment advice and helping them to make informed decisions."
People looking to sign up with Jimei should have passed the Licensing Examination for Securities and Futures Intermediaries, have a passion for the finance industry and an interest in client interaction, Mr Chan stresses.
"Since our dealers are expected to deliver sophisticated investment advice, they must have an analytical mind, a mature personality and be resourceful," he adds.
The company's selection process for dealers is meticulous, comprising two to three rounds of tests and interviews. Less experienced candidates will be required to do a written test, including an analysis to demonstrate their critical thinking skills. This will be followed by face-to-face interviews with the company's directors and top management.
Successful candidates will be offered competitive remuneration packages and undergo a week-long familiarisation programme, during which they will learn about the company's client portfolios, computerised transaction system and commission mechanism. They will also attend regular briefing sessions and learn from senior managers their views on the current economic outlook and market trends.
"We also have a continuous training programme, supported by our own trainers and analysts, to bring new recruits up to speed," states Mr Chan.
The company intends to build up a confident and competent workforce, and dealers will be trained to competently analyse financial information before making recommendations to clients.
"Our analysts conduct market research and provide internal analysis on the macro-economic outlook and industry development, as well as market trends regarding stocks, gold and foreign exchange. All our dealers are supplied with the latest market information and analysis reports so that they can offer our clients customised investment recommendations," Mr Chan remarks.
In response to investors' changed attitudes since the onset of the financial crisis, Jimei Investment has positioned itself as a provider of quality service.
"In the years leading up to the economic downturn, it was relatively easier even for people making average investments to earn profit due to the booming financial markets. This, however, simultaneously exposed them to greater risks," Mr Chan points out.
He believes most clients currently feel a strong need to be fully informed about the state of the markets and the products on offer.
While many other industry players are engaged in a price war for service commissions, Jimei Investments specifically target high net-worth clients who are willing to pay for value-added services.
In addition to offering a range of specialist customer services, the company also sees educating its clients as a priority.
"In the next few months, we'll be focusing on consolidating our manpower," says Mr Chan. "Once the recruitment process is completed, we'll look at the possibility of expanding the scope of our other services, such as foreign exchange and gold trading. In the meantime, we'll be running informative seminars on investment products and market updates for our clients."
Although the financial markets are only halfway towards recovery and some companies are still laying off staff, Jimei Investments offers promising career prospects, Mr Chan emphasises. He adds, "Hong Kong still plays a key role in the global finance servicing industry, especially in channelling investment capital into and out of mainland China."
As a new and expanding investment house, the company will provide new recruits with ample opportunities for growth. "Our dealers will enjoy wide exposure across the various business scopes that we are developing. Staff who give outstanding performance will have the opportunity to move up to new roles as managers or directors," he notes.