Money Moves

Recognition and incentives fuel performance

by Maggie Tang

Sidney Sze, chief executive officer
Midland Wealth Management
Photo: Nolly Leung

Whatever the industry, staff need regular motivational boosts to sharpen performance. This is particularly important in sales-oriented professions where peak performance is vital.

Sidney Sze, chief executive officer, Midland Wealth Management, one of Hong Kong's leading IFAs, believes that staff incentives and recognition are powerful tools in performance management. "We have a range of monthly and annual staff recognition programmes as well as a best team of the year award. These have positive repercussions on both the recipients and the company," says Dr Sze. "Staff who feel appreciated have higher self-esteem and are driven to achieve more." As for incentives, Midland's staff are entitled to generous cash rewards, free overseas trips and luxury gifts.

Apart from internal recognition and award programmes, participation in relevant competitions organised by external institutions is actively encouraged. According to Dr Sze, competitions offer valuable learning experience through which financial planners can enhance their knowledge and skills. "Competition participation is a reflection of the individual's willingness to embrace challenge, a most sought-after attribute in this industry," he notes.

Job satisfaction at Midland is also derived from the company's provision of a platform upon which financial planners can thrive by taking advantage of the wealth of support and resources available. "Being engaged in a business 'associateship' rather than an employer-employee relationship, we establish a long term and mutually beneficial partnership with our financial planners, helping them achieve independence and fulfilment, and ultimately, financial security," concedes Dr Sze. To provide prompt support for staff needs, which is essential in a collaborative relationship, open communication is constantly promoted.

As an IFA, Midland is free to select products from different financial institutions on the market creating customised solutions for clients. In essence therefore, clients are offered the best available choice on the market, capitalising on the strengths of various companies instead of a receiving a meagre selection of products offered by one particular company. Ranging from general insurance to structured investment products, Midland's dossier caters for individual lifelong needs for both current wealth protection and future asset management.

Dr Sze highlights the vast range of products offered which ensure Midland retains its edge as a financial solutions provider. "With more products available, our financial planners are able to better serve their clients and incorporate a greater degree of creativity when designing total financial solutions," he says.

Entrepreneurial spirit is a major factor contributing to career success in financial planning. "Business is all about selling. Besides technical skills, financial planners need to possess tenacity — the ability to persist until success comes. Persistence will pay off," Dr Sze concludes decisively.

Taken from Career Times 18 January 2008, p. D20
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