Working towards a common goalby Isabella Lee
A strong brand makes all the difference for organisations seeking to attract and retain customers in today's competitive marketplace. At the same time, it gives employers an edge when it comes to attracting top talent.
Realising this, independent financial adviser Channel 8 Wealth Management Limited, a member of Hong Kong-listed Rainbow Brothers Holdings Limited, are investing heavily in making its mark as a consolidated enterprise with a diverse business portfolio encompassing trading, finance, hotels and real estate.
"Our strong background is a definite business advantage, but we're keen to go further. While continuously strengthening our existing financial services, we are also constantly adding new elements in order to boost business growth. This also creates more career opportunities for our employees as well as people looking to tap into the field," says Daniel Cheung, director-business development, Channel 8.
The financial conglomerate's all-encompassing wealth management platform comprises Mandatory Provident Fund, insurance, asset management and investment migration, as well as other popular and niche financial arrangements. The company's infrastructure is built to offer practical asset management and a one-stop service to help people with varying needs, and at all stages of life, achieve their financial goals.
All Channel 8 clients are assisted by dedicated consultants who are trained and qualified to tailor appropriate portfolios by selecting from the investment resources at hand.
A strong team of financial planning consultants work on the frontline of the company's customer service. Consultants earn a basic allowance, topped with commissions and incentives. The performance-based reward system means that talented and competent professionals who are able to win and keep new clients have excellent earning potential.
"It's not uncommon for our people to bring home double or triple the pay earned by their counterparts in similar jobs at other finance institutions," Mr Cheung notes. "Since we're expanding, there are a multitude of opportunities for promotion. Employees may choose to advance up the ladder in financial planning, move into management or explore other avenues within the company."
Since a consultant's role entails meeting people from an array of backgrounds and requires a dedication to customer service, job candidates should be good communicators, enthusiastic about what they do and have a compassionate nature. Mr Cheung adds that a positive attitude and integrity are the keys to professional achievement.
"Wealth management professionals should also possess good analytical skills and be able to draw up sensible and feasible plans for their customers to ensure good financial outcomes in spite of market fluctuations," he remarks.
A sound educational background, work experience and professional financial planning qualifications all contribute to the development of a well-round professional capable of understanding clients' needs and helping them to make the right choices, Mr Cheung believes. These are also the attributes that Channel 8 looks for when recruiting.
At present, 98 per cent of Channel 8's team members process a bachelor's or master's degree and most are qualified chartered financial analysts, certified public accountants or registered financial planners.
Effective leadership is a determining factor of a company's success. Mr Cheung points out that all Channel 8 top managers have at least 10 years' experience in the wealth management industry. "We believe in helping our junior colleagues grow by sharing our expertise and offering formal training. We also encourage new financial planning recruits to obtain professional qualifications and support them in their studies," he notes.
Consultants undergo an intensive induction programme upon joining the group. During the two weeks of training, they gain valuable job-related knowledge and skills and are familiarised with the organisation's five core values: "a common goal", "commitment", "energetic", "teamwork" and "a positive attitude". The programme concludes with an assessment to ensure that the planners are well equipped to serve customers to the required standard.
The Channel 8 training and development department regularly reviews team members' professional development needs and provides different channels for future growth, including on-the-job and classroom training and extramural courses. The company also has in place a mentorship scheme to enhance senior staff's management and leadership skills.
"We encourage our staff to participate in client events such as golf days and wine tasting, as we see these as learning and networking opportunities. By working towards a common goal, we all gain," Mr Cheung concludes.
Striving for excellence
Taken from Career Times 28 May 2010, A8