Money Moves

Making it all add up

by Grace Chan

Karine Hui (right), wealth management manager
Clayton Chan, financial services officer, HSBC
Photo: Louis Lam
Global banking group home for wealth management experts

While tightened controls within the wealth management sector promote healthy industry growth in the long run, aspiring individuals looking to develop a rewarding career in the field should consider carefully the training resources and development opportunities offered by prospective employers.

When former flight attendant Karine Hui reconsidered her career options two years ago, she realised that she wanted to pursue her long-time interest in the financial sector. A personal experience with HSBC sparked her interest in developing a career with the bank. "I purchased my first insurance plan from HSBC," she recalls. "The wealth manager who served me was very attentive and I was deeply impressed."

Now a wealth management manager at HSBC, Ms Hui originally signed on with the bank as a general banking officer and was promoted to her current position six months ago. She emphasises that good performance at work is always rewarded with career prospects, and more importantly, increased responsibilities.

She points out that HSBC has a clear and strong commitment to fostering personal and professional growth for its employees. Over the last two years, Ms Hui, who holds a business and administration degree from the City University of Hong Kong, has received extensive on-the-job training, which has boosted her skills and bolstered her confidence as a banking professional.

HSBC's training and development schedule was designed with its employees' long-term development in mind. "All new recruits receive a month's induction training covering various aspects of the banking and finance industry," she explains. "Starting as a general banking officer provided me with fundamental knowledge. That particular position served as an ideal starting point because it helped me to confirm my aspirations."

The bulk of Ms Hui's responsibility involves dealing with clients from the commercial sector. "This part of the job gives me a real sense of satisfaction," she says. "I believe that I have the kind of personality and mindset for forging long-term and constructive relations with my customers."

Weekly meetings with HSBC's in-house fund managers keep all the bank's frontline staff up to speed with market trends. "We also attend monthly investment workshops and quarterly road shows to harness our skills," says Ms Hui.

Multidimensional development

Clayton Chan decided to enter the wealth management field immediately after graduating in computer science from the City University of Hong Kong. "Since I had no work experience, I started off as a counter service officer," he says. To better equip himself for the job and future challenge, he took the initiative to attend in-house training programmes and obtained a Certified Financial PlannerCM (CFPCM) qualification.

A few months ago, Mr Chan received a well-deserved promotion and became a financial services officer, primarily responsible for identifying the wealth protection needs of walk-in and new customers and recommending suitable financial products for them.

His job also involves drawing up sales plans and referring customers requiring investment services to the bank's wealth management managers. "We benefit from cross-team referrals, as our combined efforts lead to enhanced business results," he stresses. "Teamwork remains an essential element that contributes to the success of all our endeavours."

Mr Chan believes that a positive attitude and perseverance are important attributes that drive people to excel in the fast-paced industry. "Although the markets have been volatile last year, I'm confident of a long-term career in the wealth management sector," he notes.

The bank has a promote-from-within policy, encouraging both vertical and lateral movements. "My goal is to move up to the position of relationship manager and to eventually take up a managerial role. There are also other career options such as transferring to the bank's corporate, marketing or mortgage divisions," Ms Hui adds.

Mr Chan, meanwhile, is becoming increasingly passionate about his chosen field. "If you have a clear vision of your career path, just work hard on it. This way, you're sure to reach your goal," he advises.

Moving up

  • Consider development opportunities carefully
  • Solid training enhances skills and confidence
  • Clear roadmap for career advancement
  • Efficient teamwork helps increase business
  • Positive attitude and perseverance important

Taken from Career Times 18 December 2009, p. A2

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