Money Moves

Laying the groundwork for expansion

By Priscilla Chong

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

Chan Wai Chuen, general manager, Prudential Brokerage Ltd
Photo: Johnny Kwok

The continued listing of mainland corporations in Hong Kong is expected to have a significant impact on the volume of stock market transactions handled by local financial institutions in the months ahead. "Hong Kong is still a major window in the world for mainland enterprises and will also remain a platform for foreign funds to tap into China. Therefore, we have great confidence in the financial market and are ready to meet the challenge," says Chan Wai Chuen, general manager at Prudential Brokerage Ltd.

With 20 years' experience in the sector, Prudential is one of the largest local investment houses. Their services range from dealing in Hong Kong and Singapore stocks to arranging margin loans and underwriting initial public offerings (IPOs). "We are always looking for the right time to expand and opened our fourth branch in Hung Hom in 2003. We have now set our sights on China and want to offer a quality investment platform and professional financial services for our mainland clients," Mr Chan says.

The strategy is based on using the very latest information technology in an effort to provide real-time data for clients and to allow them to obtain quotes and issue instructions through various means of communication. Strong IT networks have also helped to eliminate certain limits on international dealing and made it possible for mainland clients to complete online transactions for Hong Kong stocks by using Prudential's comprehensive trading platform.

Such business depends on system stability, efficiency and user friendliness. It also requires excellent IT support in order to adapt to market changes and provide tailor-made features which enable clients to trade profitably and without delays. Because of this, talented IT professionals are needed to develop the platform, improve workflow and design additional functions. Recruits are also being sought for frontline sales positions for which an "aggressive" approach is preferred. "Candidates should not be thinking about making quick money, but about applying themselves to hard work and building a career," Mr Chan advises. "Unlike other brokerage firms, we only put experienced recruits straight into the sales team. Other new joiners are likely to start in a back-office support position, which we find is a more pragmatic approach," he adds. In this way, they are able to earn a steady income while learning about the business and to become fully familiar with the characteristics and mechanism of each financial product.

Mr Chan explains that the firm is prepared to invest in new recruits even though they will not generate revenue for a while. He sees this as a way of laying foundations for the future and ensuring that people are well trained in the intricacies of the business when they do move into sales positions.

Taken from Career Times 10 June 2005, p. 2
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