Financial Planning / Wealth Management

Synergy in partnership pivotal to industry development

by Maggie Tang

Carrie Leung, chief executive officer, the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers with KC Kwok, government economist, Government of the HKSAR
Photo: Wallace Chan

Outcome of awards competition seen as a tremendous success

Hong Kong is ahead of its peers in many areas, one of these being its expertise in financial planning and wealth management services. However, to retain its status as first among equals, talent development must remain top of the agenda. The Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) and Career Times join hands in the HKIB Outstanding Financial Planner Awards to complement each other's aptitudes and enhance professionalism in the financial arena.

"This is the second year we have organised the contest. Similar to last year, it was a joint venture with Career Times. We gain leverage from each other's strengths. The results are encouraging and there is a 20 per cent increase in participation from last year. We are confident that the contest will become a signature event in the industry," says Carrie Leung, CEO, the HKIB.

Moreover, Ms Leung notes that the calibre of this year's participants is significantly superior to the previous year. Contestants submitted real life examples in their financial plans, one of the assessment methods of the contest. They demonstrated an unsurpassed ability to grasp the fundamentals of client communication and analyse the pros and cons of a range of financial plans. "Candidates clearly understand the importance of both relationship building and interactive communication in financial planning. As organisers, we are delighted to see professionalism in the industry taken to such heights," adds Ms Leung.

Stanley Suen, general manager
Career Times Online Limited
Photo: Wallace Chan
Stanley Suen, general manager, Career Times Online Limited, remarks, "The HKIB has served the training needs of the local banking community since 1963 and is the sole provider of territory-wide recognised professional banking qualifications. Career Times is one of the major recruitment media in Hong Kong, delivering both online and printed information for today's professionals. Hundreds of thousands of jobseekers use our online platform every day. We contribute to the contest by promoting the event and the sector to talented financial enthusiasts."

Constructive partnership

Ms Leung agrees with Mr Suen that the partnership between the HKIB and Career Times in organising the Outstanding Financial Planner Awards has produced positive synergy. "Through partnership with Career Times, our message is communicated to the public effectively," observes Ms Leung.

In particular, a series of supplements has been produced outlining the progress of this year's contest. Key industry players in the banking and finance industry were invited to participate in a range of interviews. The feedback from these financial ambassadors offers jobseekers valuable information about contemporary expectations in the employment market, current best practices and career paths. "I hope our target audience can make informed choices supported by Career Times," says Ms Leung.

According to Mr Suen, Career Times is more than just a recruitment newspaper. It has successfully established itself as a facilitator of recruitment information in the community. A plethora of information is provided through the online platform, for example, salary trends, human resources policies and their effects, up-to-date professional requirements for numerous positions, career paths and information on further education and training. On the one hand, employers can gain access to an ever-expanding pool of talent; on the other, jobseekers are able to devise their own professional strategies based on the data provided by Career Times.

Mr Suen has a positive outlook regarding the future for Hong Kong's financial planning and wealth management industry. "The wealth effects created by China's robust economic growth will continue to increase the demand for financial planning and wealth management services in the region. Hong Kong can capitalise on this as it is a major global financial centre. Our regulatory framework is incredibly well structured meeting rigorous international standards. We enjoy the freest market economy in the world bolstered by a fair and open business environment. Beyond doubt, the financial planning and wealth management industry remains tremendously enticing for jobseekers," Mr Suen points out. "However, it takes persistence and professional knowledge to succeed in the field."

Taken from Career Times 07 December 2007
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