Keep up with the market, manage diversity
Catherine Mow Lo-ming, vice-president and head of two investment centres at JPMorgan, has spent 15 years with the bank. She’s worked at various departments, such as marketing, MPF, and business development. In 2006, she transferred to frontline sales at the JPMorgan investment centre, where she started as manager of the investment advisory team, and gradually worked her way up to her current position.
What’s your academic background?
I graduated in economics from Boston University.
How do you start your day?
I start work at 8.30am with a market update session, and then have a quick product review with my team. This is to ensure that they know what products are suitable for our clients based on our investment managers’ views.
In the afternoon, I’ll have an internal sales meeting to understand the latest investment interests of our clients as well as any difficulties we’ve come across at work. Meeting meet with the press is also part of my afternoon duties. Once or twice a week, I speak at investment seminars in the evening.
What does your job entail?
My main duties are to manage clients’ investment portfolios, and two investment centres. Some 14 investment advisers report to me. I also speak at investment seminars and to the press.
What are the major challenges you’ve encountered so far?
There are two aspects of my job that I find challenging: One is keeping up with the pace of market practices and client expectations. Retail clients are much more sophisticated than they were 10 years ago. They want more in-depth information, so I have to ensure our investment advisers can answer their queries.
The other is managing my team members, who are from different age groups and cultural backgrounds. It’s crucial for me to try to see things from their points of view.
What have you learned about your career? What are your plans?
My immediate professional plan is to get the business at our new Kwun Tong Investment Centre off the ground, by rolling out suitable marketing plans. My long-term plan is to expand our direct business to serve more Hong Kong investors. This is a very unique business model in the fund industry here, and only JPMorgan Asset Management has its own investment centre.
Any advice for those who are planning to enter your industry?
Don’t pay too much attention to immediate benefits. Instead, focus more on what you can earn in the long term. I have met many youngsters who would quit their existing jobs and switch to another one for the sake of a better title or to get paid a couple of hundred more. It’s important to know what your ultimate career goal is, and to work towards that goal. Don’t give up so easily. Very often, your hard work today will benefit you in the long term.