Money Moves

Training that is best in class

By Max O'Brian

This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

Realising the importance of professional training as a way of attracting young executives, one major insurance group has opened the financial services industry's first cadet school or "New Adviser Development Centre" in Hong Kong. It offers top of the range training programmes that also tie in closely with the company's newly created positions for business development associates.

Denny Chan, director, life business, Zurich Insurance Group (Hong Kong) says, "As part of our customer-centric culture, we now provide a 10-week two-stage intensive course that offers our business development associates all the knowledge and skills they need. The training is both theoretical and practical ensuring participants can excel in the insurance industry and provide customers with advice they can trust."

As a pioneer in promoting professionalism within the insurance sector, Zurich aims to attract the best and brightest. "These challenging associate positions, together with the training programme, are the best possible entry point to the industry," says Mr Chan. "Recruits gain experience of different sales channels and departments so their performance and preferences can be tested to the full."

The structured programme offers associates on-the-job exposure, which helps to put classroom training to immediate practical use, and regular rotation between positions. "We take on recruits of every age and from every background," says Mr Chan. "The key thing is for them to have the dedication and passion necessary to succeed. The fast-track New Adviser Training Programme is an intense learning experience designed to produce qualified, highly motivated insurance advisers who are committed to the industry, the company and their future."

The position of business development associate has been introduced in an effort to increase Zurich's presence in the insurance market even further. As Mr Chan concludes, "By expanding our agency team, we will be able to uphold the level of professionalism our customers expect and ensure that our service pledge is not compromised."

Taken from Career Times 17 September 2004, p. 2
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