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Financial Planning / Wealth Management

Young talent comes out tops

by Nicolette Wong

Chloe Poon (middle) receives the Grand Award from Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer, Securities and Futures Commission
Chloe Poon (middle) receives the Grand Award from Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer, Securities and Futures Commission
Photo: Wallace Chan
Winning planner credits hard work, client-oriented mindset and colleagues' support for awards success

With only a year's experience in the wealth management field, Hang Seng Bank Personal Banking Service Manager Chloe Poon already shows an all-round flair that promises future professional success. Her financial knowledge, diverse skills and outstanding client-management ability were apparent throughout this year's Hong Kong Institute of Bankers Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards.

At the awards-presentation ceremony on November 23, Ms Poon walked away with the Grand Award in the Group A category (for financial management planners with less than three years of experience). An ambitious young talent with a desire to learn, Ms Poon believes that, by presenting her with the prize, the judges recognised the effort she has put into her professional development. To have won this important accolade only one year into her career makes her even more proud.

"I thank my colleagues for all their support in helping me prepare for the contest¡Xfrom helping me to expand my financial knowledge to helping me to stay calm and positive before the big event," she remarks.

Clients come first

Ms Poon puts much effort into building trusting relationships with clients and believes her dedication showed in her performance. She always carefully evaluates each client's circumstances, wealth management priorities and risk tolerance through detailed financial analysis, in order to provide appropriate product recommendations. "I've also taken extensive training courses to further my financial knowledge in different areas," she adds.

She believes her strengths as a financial planner include her ability to listen to clients and pay meticulous attention to their backgrounds, inclinations and concerns. Thorough preparation and a customer-oriented mindset are also key to winning trust, she stresses. "For example, I make sure that I'm aware of customers' lifestyles and schedules, so that I can schedule meetings at the best possible times for them," she explains.

She believes that her sincere and outgoing personality and professional attitude helped to impress the panel, but that hard work was crucial to her success. "I spent a lot of time on research, writing reports and rehearsing for my presentation and the Q&A session. My motto was to stay confident, and to consult my colleagues for insight into difficult topics."

Taking part in the HKIB awards was a great voyage of discovery for Ms Poon, who notes that she particularly cherished the opportunities for exchanges with the judges and industry peers. The interactions provided her with a new perspective on different aspects of the profession.

"It was like an around-the-world journey that I embarked on with curiosity and excitement, and now it's come to a wonderful end," she says. "I'd definitely encourage my colleagues to participate in the contest in the future, so that they, too, can realise their dreams with hard work and dedication."

Training and trust

Comprehensive training is of vital importance for candidates taking part in the HKIB awards
Peggy Tam, Head of Retail Distribution and Secured Loans, Hang Seng Bank Limited
Photo: Courtesy of Hang Seng Bank

Comprehensive training is of vital importance for candidates taking part in the HKIB awards, says Peggy Tam, Head of Retail Distribution and Secured Loans, Hang Seng Bank Limited. "We work hard to ensure that they're customer oriented," Ms Tam stresses. "Coaching on communication, presentation and Q&A skills are key areas as well, as our candidates need a lot of support and grooming throughout the rigorous process."

Hang Seng Bank provides personalised training to strengthen its financial planners' core competences throughout the different stages of their careers. The comprehensive curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including technical knowledge, management and client-servicing skills. The bank also encourages its wealth managers to pursue further professional studies and qualifications, such as the HKIB Certified Financial Management PlannerTM (CFMPTM) programme, as well as learning exchanges with industry peers.

Ms Tam believes the annual HKIB competition has greatly enhanced the wealth management industry's status by recognising outstanding professionals, raising public awareness of the profession and elevating customer-service standards in banking.

"The TRUST model is instrumental," she adds. (TRUST stands for trusting relationships, recognising financial goals, understanding financial status, structuring a financial plan that meets the goals, and timely management of the financial plan.) "It grooms our financial planners to think from their clients' perspectives and to conduct thorough financial analyses in order to structure appropriate financial portfolios. Regular reviews and close communication are also key to mutually trusting relationships."

The bank's teams in Hong Kong and on the mainland work closely together to serve the needs of different customers. "Some of our mainland clients have different requirements from their portfolios. We provide one-stop wealth management services and tailor-made products to meet their diverse needs," Ms Tam concludes.

Professionalism recognised

  • Winning wealth manager evaluates clients' circumstances, wealth management priorities and risk tolerance
  • Thorough preparation and customer-oriented mindset are key to winning customers' trust
  • Professional attitude and hard work crucial to success
  • Hang Seng Bank provides personalised training to strengthen planners' core competences

Taken from Career Times 2 December 2011, A12


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