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DBS shows the path to a winning career

Published on Monday, 30 Oct 2017
Sharon Cheng, Managing Director and Head of Human Resources, Hong Kong and China, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
Vincent Cheung, Management Associate, DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

To build a long term and successful career in banking, it helps to start off on the right foot. As such, DBS, one of the world’s leading Asian banks, is offering a one-off opportunity to the right candidates to grow with the bank.

DBS is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, and offers a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with its customers and to positively impact communities in the Asian way, and a career with the bank will mean the opportunity to take part in this.

“The Management Associate Programme is a leadership development programme that seeks out and hones the sharpest minds to take on leadership roles in DBS,” says Sharon Cheng, Managing Director and Head of Human Resources, Hong Kong and China. “It is our most comprehensive training programme for the future leaders of Asia’s booming banking industry.”

Indeed, DBS has vested interest to build a strong pipeline of leaders as the bank continues to outrank other banks in its status as well as offerings. The bank has been recognised for its leadership in the region having been named Best Private Bank, Hong Kong 2017 by Asiamoney, SME Bank of the Year, Hong Kong 2016 by Asian Banking & Finance, and World’s Best Digital Bank 2016, by Euromoney. It has also been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by numerous publications.

“The bank’s “AA–” and “Aa1” credit ratings are among the highest in the world,” Cheng says. It is a lot to live up to and the bank is keenly aware that, in order to maintain its status, its priority should be to build, engage and empower its staff and provide exciting career opportunities. In light of this, DBS is now looking to hire around 70 Management Associates regionally.

“The quality of the candidates and how they fit into our criteria and culture will be our key focus,” she says. “These graduates will be recruited locally and internationally and the mix may vary each year, depending on the quality.”

For starters, applicants should have at least a master’s degree or second upper bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a reputable university or institution. Those with less than three years’ of work experience are also invited to apply. Another key criterion is that candidates should have experience in leadership roles and a proven track record of handling challenging projects. They should also be adaptable, creative, decisive, resilient, and have a digital mindset. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are also a must.

“Then over a course of 24 months, you will have the opportunity to gain exposure to different business areas within the bank under a rigorous and holistic programme,” Cheng says.

This approach is aimed at helping new joiners to become familiar with the bank and to explore a career path in a safe and nurturing environment, which eventually prepares candidates to go higher up in the organisation.

“DBS is a growing bank with clear and far-sighted vision from top management,” Vincent Cheung, a current Management Associate, says. “This creates a lot of opportunities for young people, in particular Management Associates, to unleash their potential here.”

The bank understands that providing the right opportunities and environment for staff to build on their creativity and resilience will only result in stronger company performance. These commitments can be seen by looking at the company’s stellar performance. To give just one example, the bank posted strong growth in Hong Kong in flow businesses in the second quarter of 2017 showing a high double-digit year-on-year growth, driven mainly by its focus on cash management operating accounts. It also achieved a substantial increase in Debt Capital Markets revenue, while it continued to build on its digital leadership in SME banking, which saw for its social community platform, DBS BusinessClass, celebrate its first birthday. And that is not all. In consumer banking and in digital innovation, the company announced its success in completing the ANZ retail and wealth business acquisition in Hong Kong in September with total AUM reaching HK$36.5 billion, while its new customers acquired digitally saw a high double-digit increase year on year.

All these successes can be boiled down to its people, and that is why the bank invests heavily in its human resources schemes such as the Management Associate Programme.

“The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 22,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities,” Cheng says.

For this reason, DBS’s Management Associate Programme is highly sought after amongst graduates, as it is clear that it is not just a graduate opportunity that awaits the successful candidates, but also a long-term career path.

“Do treasure the opportunities as a Management Associate because a promising future will probably lie ahead if you can keep your motivation up,” Cheung advises.

The company prepares graduates by providing a comprehensive programme that starts with six weeks of campus training in Singapore; graduates are then rotated throughout the different functions in the company. Another three weeks of campus training in Singapore follows in the second year, and finally an overseas stint for the top Management Associate of the cohort.

Graduates receive comprehensive training and development covering three key areas: experience, education and relationship. This means working with a programme manager who will help you to build an individual development plan, followed by structured induction programmes, and finally the opportunity to meet with senior management and the bank’s top leaders and to learn from them.

“Opportunities to interact with senior management and the bank’s top leaders will be provided to give you the best banking career in Asia – bar none,” Cheng says.

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