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Published on Friday, 11 Oct 2013
Bruno Lee
Photo: Berton Chang

Fidelity is looking for private client managers with integrity

Finding the right investment solutions in today’s uncertain financial markets is a challenging proposition. This is just one of the reasons why Fidelity Wealth believes that the key to making successful investment decisions relies on strong relationships between private client managers (PCMs) and clients.

Bruno Lee Kam-wing, regional head of retail for Asia ex-Japan at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, says that having experienced PCMs is a key component of Fidelity Wealth’s investment-solutions process. Unlike wealth-management companies which offer various investment structures, Fidelity Wealth provides clients with access to geographical locations and various asset classes through a broad range of mutual funds.

“We enable clients to invest across the world’s financial markets and build an investment portfolio uniquely suited to their needs,” Lee says. “We keep the investment process transparent and easy.”

He adds that as a leading asset-management and financial-services firm, Fidelity Wealth is in a strong position to help clients make quality investment decisions. “Fidelity is a well-known innovator in fund distribution and we are the only asset manager in Hong Kong to offer third-party funds to retail investors,” Lee says.

In conjunction with its own funds, Fidelity Wealth currently offers funds from nine third-party fund houses, with Lee expecting the number to increase to 15 by the end of the year.

With its focus on “mass-affluent” investors with at least US$100,000 in liquid assets, Fidelity Wealth is looking for potential PCMs with experience in the client-relationship and mutual-fund industries to meet the needs of its expanding business.

“Our clients are from the mass-affluent segment and expect to receive expert advice matched with timely market information,” Lee says. He adds that PCMs work closely with clients to provide them with personal investment solutions that match their investment goals.

Acutely aware of the way financial decisions can affect the lives of clients, Lee says it is imperative that PCMs have a client-centric focus and help investors to be well informed so that they can be confident when making investment decisions. “How PCMs interact with their clients and work with them to achieve the right results is an integral part of the employee value proposition,” Lee says.

For instance, PCMs need to work with clients to understand their financial circumstances, appetite for risk, personal market views and investment-style preferences. While some clients are experienced investors, Lee says, others are looking for guidance, while others still have defined investment strategies and are looking for specific investment tools to implement them.

“Each client is different and requires different solutions,” Lee says. This means that PCMs must be good listeners and have a thorough understanding of compliance and regulatory requirements, as well as the highest standard of ethics and integrity.

Equally important, candidates must have the right investment and personality characteristics. For instance, Lee says, it is no good for a person to be an exceptional market researcher with great technical skills if they lack communication skills. Fidelity Wealth also seeks individuals who take a long-term view of their careers and are keen to progress within the firm.

“We appreciate people who are team players who are also enthusiastic about taking ownership of their business roles,” Lee says.

In addition to coming from the mutual-fund sector, suitable PCM candidates could also come from the financial-planning and financial-advisory industries, or from senior client-relationship positions within financial institutions.

Ideally, candidates will have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the global-mutual-fund investment market in client-relationship roles. “We are looking for a balance between investment knowledge, product knowledge and outstanding communication abilities,” Lee says.

With a growing number of mainland clients seeking investment solutions, Putonghua skills, in addition to Cantonese and English, are also vital.

Lee says PCMs joining Fidelity Wealth will be working in a pioneering segment of the wealth-management industry at a time when economic cycles are getting shorter and clients are looking for advice and reassurance.

PCMs are assisted in providing in-depth insights and market information by Fidelity’s global network of research and comprehensive market analyses. The firm has invested heavily in software and technology to ensure PCMs can provide their clients with extensive market and fund information.

A good example is Fidelity’s Portfolio X-Ray, which provides clients with detailed analysis and monitoring of their portfolios, including the status of individual accounts and investments. To offer flexibility, Fidelity also offers an all-in-one Fidelity SmartFund Account, which allows clients to conduct transaction without an upfront subscription or switching fees. Instead, fees are based on the market value of the average daily fund holding.

Within the firm, Lee says the opportunities for career progression are extensive. Depending on career goals, there are opportunities to advance to private client director, team head, or move to a different business area.

Citing himself as an example, since he joined Fidelity in 1991, Lee has worked as a customer services manager, a manager supporting the firms’ intermediate business, and a general manager in Taiwan developing the regional business. He also spent time in the US, where he was able to gain a better understanding of Fidelity’s global operations.

Lee says that as an employer, the firm offers an inclusive, open-minded working environment where the exchange of ideas is encouraged. “PCMs are on the frontline, listening to their clients and receiving feedback. This information is valuable and when shared, can lead to new and better ways of doing things that ultimately allow clients to make better decisions,” he says.

With global markets making a slow and somewhat uncertain recovery, Lee says it is an exciting time to be in the wealth-management industry. He says that the numbers of mainland investors seeking advice and investment opportunities is destined to continue growing.

The mainland’s continuing efforts to internationalise the renminbi is another potential area for opportunities. However, according to Lee, the biggest satisfaction of working in the wealth-management industry is providing clients with the information, guidance and investment tools that enable Fidelity’s customers to feel more confident in controlling their investment-portfolio decisions and to achieve their financial goals.

Investment involves risks. Fidelity only gives information about its products and services. Any person considering an investment should seek independent advice on the suitability or otherwise of the particular investment.

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