Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Streaming ahead with HKIB

To ensure that Hong Kong is well-placed to exploit the opportunities posed by the region's growing wealth, the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (HKIB) Postgraduate Diploma in Wealth Management has added new streams to boost core competencies.

Due to be launched later this year, the programme, will include two subjects: "Business Strategy in Private Wealth Management" and "Global Portfolio and Client Relationship Management".

HKIB CEO Carrie Leung says the programme is structured to provide strategic insights into the private banking industry's current market landscape.

"A key aim is to provide a viable pathway for talent development in the private wealth management industry," Leung says, adding that support from employers and regulators could help the programme become a benchmark industry qualification.

She says the programme can allow corporate and retail bankers to take the first steps towards joining the private wealth management sector. Emphasis has been placed on market development, the legal and compliance environment, the structure of private wealth management business models, the changing roles and responsibilities of private bankers, and opportunities and challenges ahead.

The programme is offered in two formats: entirely face-to-face, or a combination of classroom learning and self-study modes. Leung expects experienced professionals to complete the programme within a year, while less-experienced professionals might take 18 months. Candidates are expected to have a recognised university degree or relevant professional qualification.

Leung stresses, however, that completing the programme does not guarantee graduates will be able to step right into a top wealth management position.

"Private wealth management professionals work with clients who are extremely wealthy and knowledgable, so they are not likely to entrust millions of dollars to someone with little experience," Leung says. In addition to technical skills, she advises aspiring private wealth managers to develop their interpersonal skills and expand their general knowledge.

With private wealth practitioners needing to understand new regulatory requirements, Leung says the programme will cover relevant legal and compliance issues. Participants will also receive training on how to develop and retain long-term client relationships, through delivering high standards of private wealth management customer service while complying with professional and ethical standards.

As local retail banks broaden their wealth-management offerings, Leung says the programme will also focus on leadership development to provide for the sustainability needs of Hong Kong's private wealth management industry. "We believe our programme is unique because not only are we offering technical training, we are also focusing on developing the people skills needed to lead department teams in the future," she says.

As the HKIB is a not-for-profit organisation, Leung says fees for the programme will be kept as low as possible. "Our goal is to help the industry build talent," she says. Depending on the learning path - face-to-face or self-study - each subject will be offered at between HK$3,000 and HK$4,000 per study unit.

The HKIB also offers programmes that range from entry-level options such as the Accredited Banking Practitioner qualification, to higher-level programmes for attaining the Associate of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers (AHKIB) designation.