Money Moves

Unique business model enters Hong Kong marketplace

by Anna Tong

This is a special edition introducing the latest trends in recruitment and staff incentive in the financial planning industry

Business model equips financial planning company to benefit both clients and staff

Garry Stuchbery
business development manager
Horwath Financial Services Limited
Photo: Nolly Leung

The booming financial planning industry is making global waves. On the back of this, one of the fastest-growing financial planning companies in the world, Professional Investment Services, has entered the Hong Kong marketplace via the acquisition of Horwath Financial Services.

Professional Investment Services is already the largest financial planning group in Australia and ranks highly in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada. It has recently opened for business in China as it stretches its reach globally.

Garry Stuchbery, business development manager at Horwath Financial Services Limited, is well-known in Hong Kong's financial-planning circles. Professional Investment Services has been successful because of its unique business model, he states.

"While always treating the client experience as vital in our end game, the model adopts a successful multi-asset revenue strategy for the advisers. That revenue can be derived for the advisers from a variety of sources, not just the traditional means of commission, retainer plus commission, or bonus," Mr Stuchbery explains. "In our model, advisers can create value through building their book of business and can also receive shares in the parent company by contributing to the bottom-line."

Positive attitude

Company culture includes the instilling of a positive attitude in consultants, and the belief that this stimulates activity and drives the company forward.

"Apart from the multi-asset approach to revenue, unconditional support is given to advisers and staff by providing them with a broad service offering, including a unique range of products, training, coaching, professional development and an activity programme," Mr Stuchbery says.

This activity focus, via frequent seminars and regular lunch events with clients, has been incredibly successful.

People skills essential

Professional Investment Services through Horwath Financial Services are now looking to grow their distribution team in Hong Kong. This growth can be by direct recruitment, acquisition or joint venture.

Mr Stuchbery points out that the company's greatest asset is its talented team, and that good communication skills are a must to make it in the industry. Other qualities for financial planners include having empathy and being gregarious.

Candidates for the job should enjoy interacting with people and venturing beyond their own circle of contacts. They should be energised and informed by interacting with others.

The company requires candidates to have at least the standard qualifications needed for the job.

"Training is an indispensable part of building a successful business," says Mr Stuchbery, adding that it is embedded and expected in the business. There are always opportunities to rise up through the ranks, but no career path is more important than excelling in one's current position and constantly doing a better job, he concludes.

Taken from Career Times 29 June 2007, p. A2
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