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Money Moves

Spreading the right message about wealth management

by Christina Tai

Joseph Lai, executive director, Henyep International Wealth Management Limited
Photo: BJ

The last few years have seen a rapid rise in demand for wealth management services and an increasing range of investment products. More recently, hedge funds have been attracting new interest, with certain investors realising they offer unprecedented opportunities, but also a higher degree of risk.

"We help customers to clarify their own needs and expectations and always remind them about the key features and possible risks, plus the costs and benefits associated with different products," says Joseph Lai, executive director of Henyep International Wealth Management Limited. He explains that the main thing is for any investment to be "appropriate". In that way, individual investors will not have unrealistic expectations and will choose products best suited to their circumstances and requirements.

"Customers should always consider factors like cash reserves, asset allocation, and underlying risk," Mr Lai adds. "They may be tempted by the idea of making much higher than average returns but, first of all, they should be pragmatic."

He notes that the primary aim of the wealth management sector is to help customers plan for the long term to achieve financial security and peace of mind. To do this, the company depends on qualified staff with the professional knowledge and track record to build trust and offer the very best advice.

"In recruiting wealth management consultants, we always look for people with integrity who will promote a positive image for the company," Mr Lai says. "Whether they are applying for frontline or back-office positions, they must also have the commitment to maintain long-term relationships with customers." All recruits receive comprehensive training and coaching to reinforce their natural abilities.

Concerning general standards in the wealth management sector, Mr Lai believes that continuous professional development (CPD) programmes are having a noticeable impact. He says, though, that there is still room for improvement in areas such as course content and the quality of instruction. Meanwhile, he believes there has been good progress in establishing a strong regulatory framework and in promoting better awareness among members of the general public.

Having built an excellent reputation over the years, the company's business has gone global, with branch offices now to be found in different parts of the world. Annual turnover in Henyep Investments UK reached US$35 billion last year and the business continues to expand.

It has recently become the first UK company to be granted a licence in Dubai to deal with foreign exchange, shares and futures derivatives. "These days, Dubai is being called the Hong Kong of the Middle East," says Mr Lai. "With our strong base in Hong Kong and the connection to China, we will be looking to use our high standards of professionalism to build further international business opportunities."


Taken from Career Times 17 November 2006, p. A2

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