Financial Planning / Wealth Management
Service excellence for discerning clientsby Wendy Shair
Nine years in the banking industry, specialising in mutual funds, bonds and structured products, have helped Rayson Chan, Investment Consultant, Citibank, to earn a group B finalist place in this year's Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards.
Mr Chan's role involves co-operating with the bank's relationship managers and meeting with clients to respond to their financial needs and objectives. "Investment consultants play a key role to provide their clients with professional advice. It's essential that we keep our sophisticated investors updated with the latest market news to build and maintain trusting relationships," he explains.
Investment consultants must understand global financial trends to gain a deep understanding of the ever-evolving investment market, Mr Chan stresses. "We receive daily briefings from our research team to keep us abreast of investment developments and business news and information. This definitely equips us to help our clients reach their financial objectives."
He regularly meets with clients to discuss pertinent financial-planning issues. Investment consultants must be proactive to understand investors' financial goals and reinforce relationships, he points out. "I take down important notes and comments straight after meetings, so that I have all the information at hand about clients to help me understand them and their financial needs better."
Citibank views long-term relationships with clients as a priority. Hence, it has developed a strong market research team to provide staff with market forecasts and the bank's official policies. "This helps us prepare," says Mr Chan. "Hong Kong's market is extremely competitive."
The finance house believes that the HKIB Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards provide an excellent opportunity to showcase participants' enthusiasm for the industry. It therefore invests heavily in training for its participants.
His preparations for the competition involved about six months' detailed research, paperwork and presentations, Mr Chan notes. "I spent every weekend working on my paper and presentation materials, but the learning process has been invaluable and has greatly strengthened my knowledge of the industry."
Strict attention to detail is important, and the panel judges can tell how much effort candidates have put in, he points out. Hard work also leads to improved observation skills.
Noting that the bank had assigned specialists to help participants hone essential professional abilities, he says, "The competition has improved my presentation skills. I've also sharpened my knowledge and enhanced my soft skills."
Mr Chan's aim is to further increase his banking acumen and communication skills to build a strong foundation for a long-term career serving high-net-worth customers.
Taken from Career Times 11 November 2011, A3