Abby Ng Wai-yee is sales director for wealth management at Sun Hung Kai Financial (SHKF). She formulates business plans for her sales team and provides personalised solutions for her clients. Her role also includes following new sales leads, providing financial analysis reports and keeping a close eye on local and global economic and market trends. How did you start your career?
I started as a field underwriter in an insurance firm in Canada and was later promoted to sales manager. I came back to Hong Kong in 1994 to be with my family and, in the beginning, involved in back-office tasks such as administration and training. I was an associate director at a local financial services firm before joining SHKF. What led you to SHKF?
The company offered me the opportunities to meet clients and manage staff. I've learned a lot from my work, since the company provides a wide range of financial products, including stocks, bonds and derivatives across Hong Kong and the rest of the Asia-Pacific. We also offer different saving plans.
What was the watershed moment of your career?
When I returned to Hong Kong, I didn't have any business connections and so had to work in back-office positions. The first turning point came in 2000 when I became associate director of a financial services firm and was given the opportunity to meet clients. Joining SHKF was the second turning point. I deal with a variety of products and meet different clients who then refer other customers to me. This has given a great boost to my career.
What challenges do you face?
The financial market has been very volatile in the past 18 months and I have been trying to let my clients know that they are not alone in battling the tough times. I provide them with market updates and help them review their portfolios on a regular basis. How do you develop client trust?
Listen to them very carefully and attentively so that you will be able to suggest a financial plan that meets their needs. The basic principle is know your clients.
What's your advice for young people keen on your field?
You will need to hone your selling and presentation skills by practising it all the time. Imagine you're talking to a client, anticipate their questions and try to provide an answer fully and articulately. You should also meet as many clients as possible to improve your communication skills.
It is important to keep abreast of the latest developments. Clients have a good grasp of financial products. Enrolling in finance-related courses and reading investment magazines will improve your knowledge. Ultimately, all this boils down to hard work and your willingness and ability to learn new things. You will never succeed if you don't put in all your efforts.
SHKF awards - champion for top sales, wealth management, 2005
SHKF awards - champion top performer in assets under management, 2006
SHKF awards - champion top performer in assets under management, 2007