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Published on Friday, 17 May 2013
In Susan Yuen’s five years as ANZ’s Hong Kong CEO, headcount has grown tenfold to over 1,000 staff.
Photo: David Wong

ANZ wants 20 new hires who share its values

While many banks have consistently reduced headcount following the economic downturn, ANZ has grown by leaps and bounds in Hong Kong as it fulfils its motto – “We live in your world” – by being as connected as possible in the region.

The bank had only 108 employees in Hong Kong five years ago, when Malaysian-born Susan Yuen joined as chief executive for Hong Kong with the responsibility to execute the bank’s new “super regional growth” strategy. The local headcount has since soared to more than 1,000 people and is still growing, with more than 20 positions currently available for high-calibre candidates.

“Our vacancies include global, regional and local functions,” Yuen says. “Although some roles require more seasoned experience, there are opportunities for energetic younger candidates with the right mindset and the ambition to work their way up.”

Applicants must have relevant work experience, a strong service mindset, a deep understanding of clients’ needs and a solution-focused approach to the relationship. As well as front-line positions, there are also vacancies in governance roles, such as legal, risk and compliance.

“We are looking for individuals who not only understand the environment around them, but also ANZ’s strategy and core values. They should also be aiming to develop a long-term career with the bank,” Yuen says.

As a fast-developing bank that still has many growth plans ahead, ANZ needs staff who are flexible and comfortable with change and have a go-getting attitude that can help spot opportunities in every situation.

“We need entrepreneurial spirits who know their job well, as well as their boundaries. They need to know what is right and wrong, and what they can and should do even if something is not stated clearly. Once a person can do that, their future in the bank will be glowing,” Yuen says.

Research shows that ANZ is now the fourth largest bank in Asian large corporate banking, having taken over RBS’s retail and commercial business and developed Hong Kong as a North Asia hub. It has also tripled customer numbers to 2.6 million in Asia-Pacific since 2007, and has more than 9,000 employees in Asia alone.

The bank’s super-regional Asia strategy aims to help customers grow through accelerating intra-regional trade, investment and people flows through connectivity, knowledge, and experience.

“Targeting the affluent and emerging affluent markets, we are focused on building a network of relationship managers across wealth management, retail, commercial and institutional banking to allow us to provide best-in-class service,” Yuen says.

The bank is building its business on a set of values including integrity, collaboration within the team and among other groups, accountability, aiming to be the best, and enabling others to achieve their best. Respect is another very important quality all employees have to value. “No matter what positions we are hiring for, we look for people who are comfortable operating within those values,” Yuen says.

With hiring and developing local talent in Hong Kong one of the bank’s major strategies, Cantonese and Putonghua skills are strongly required.

Newcomers are greeted with a half-day corporate induction and an additional departmental induction. The training is supplemented by a number of e-training modules through the company intranet to ensure that newcomers are familiar with industry regulations, health and safety procedures, and other details.

Skills training is offered throughout the year, including in sales and services. “We put our sales people through different awards and we usually win three or four each year,” Yuen says.

High performers are identified and offered opportunities for talent development, including having an individual mentor in the company. They can participate in the award-winning leadership training programme, which includes job rotation and international exposure through exchange programmes.

Teambuilding is an important part of creating a cohesive workforce and includes town hall meetings, social networking, monthly bonding sessions, and corporate social responsibility activities in the fields of financial literacy, community service and the environment.

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