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Training up the wealth managers

Published on Friday, 25 May 2012
UBS operates a wealth management campus in Singapore.
Photo: UBS

As Hong Kong's private wealth management market continues to expand and develop, the industry is taking crucial steps to ensure there is enough qualified talent in the city to handle demand from clients.

Based on feedback from wealth management providers and regulators, the Hong Kong Securities Institute (HKSI) believes its Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM) programme will provide a strong platform from which private wealth management professionals can embrace knowledge and values such as trust, transparency and fairness.

HKSI chief executive SF Wong says the institute believes the CIWM qualification - launched last year - is beneficial to the private wealth management market practitioners and clients.

"The CIWM programme is an initiative driven by the industry to ensure private wealth professionals in Hong Kong are well-equipped to ride on a growing wave of opportunities," he says, adding that the qualification can also assist participants in advancing their career development.

Wong says clients can also look forward to enjoying better services from trained market professionals. "The CIWM initiative is aimed at increasing client trust towards practitioners and the institutions that employ trained professionals," he says.

Divided into modules, the CIWM programme comprises 84 hours of course work. "The course combines theory and practice and integrates the most recent results of research in disciplines such as wealth management, behavioural finance, real estate valuation and analysis, relationship management, and international and domestic wealth planning," says Wong.

CIWM applicants need a minimum of three years' work experience and a degree in investment or finance, or equivalent qualifications.

The programme, which can accommodate about 100 participants at a time, is delivered at the HKSI's Sheung Wan training centre by recognised and experienced specialists who are experts in their chosen fields.

Wong says the programme offers candidates the tools and techniques to help them succeed in the world of private wealth management. "With this enhancement, wealth management clients will gain more confidence from CIWM holders," says Wong.

Given the huge growth in demand for wealth management professionals across the region, several wealth management firms have decided it is easier to groom new talent rather than compete for employees in the open job market.

For example, the UBS wealth management campus in Singapore provides ongoing professional development to existing employees in the region. In addition, the business school provides training to new UBS wealth management employees across different business areas.

Meanwhile, ABN Amro has recently teamed up with the INSEAD Business School to provide training and certification for its relationship managers.

Core areas of study include financial service delivery, culture, processes, and service to clients.

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