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New financial talents give industry a boost

The climax of the SCMP/IFPHK Financial Planner Awards 2012 was marked with a presentation dinner that not only celebrated the success of this year’s winners, but also provided an arena to consider recent developments in the industry.

With the awards aiming to raise professional standards and heighten public awareness, it was a good time to make a quick, informal assessment of progress towards these goals and highlight other possible targets.

However, for Steve Chiu, chairman of the IFPHK, the first order of business was to congratulate and commend the various prize winners.

“I was very impressed by the extremely high standards demonstrated this year,” Chiu said. “It will have given the industry, the public and the city a strong boost in confidence about the future of financial planning in Hong Kong.”

Chiu, who was delighted by the evening’s turnout of more than 400 professionals from industry areas including banking, insurance and independent financial advisory (IFA), reminded practitioners of their mission to serve clients and educate the public. He pointed out that these obligations must underpin the industry for it to remain successful and sustainable.

A continual raising of standards involved three things, he said: adopting an intelligent approach to financial planning, establishing client relationships based on goodwill and understanding, and reaching out to the community.

“This was the eighth year of the awards and it has been pleasing to see such a positive response over the years,” Chiu said. “Many of our earlier winners are themselves now senior managers and continue to play an integral role in the development of our industry.”

Dennis Lau, chief executive of the IFPHK, was equally warm in his praise. He noted that general feedback from the judges overseeing the practitioner category was that participants
showed such diligence, in-depth knowledge and presentation skills that they clearly had all the tools needed for fast-moving and successful careers.

“As a judge myself for the university-student category, Iwas particularly impressed by the teams’ powerful and persuasive oral presentations,” Lau said.

“These young people are the future talent of the financial planning industry and it is encouraging to see that they already have such a good grasp of the essentials. We are grateful
for the support given by Hong Kong universities in this respect.”