What it's really like to lead a team of private bankers in Asia

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Jackie Pang

Jackie Pang

Jackie Pang is an executive director and team leader at Coutts Hong Kong. She graduated with a degree in commercial economics in the Netherlands, followed by an MSc in financial management from the University of London. Pang has worked at Coutts for nearly seven years. She speaks to eFinancialcareers about her career.

After returning to Hong Kong in 1997, I first worked for ABN Amro Bank – it was a natural choice as I knew my Dutch-Chinese background would be advantageous at a Dutch bank in Hong Kong.

When I joined Coutts, I had to get used to a new culture. As always, with changes come challenges, and although the initial going may have been tough, I came out a stronger person and a more accomplished banker.

I currently lead a team of private bankers and assistants and manage a large book of clients with a minimum of US$3m assets under management per relationship. I enjoy the interpersonal relationships involved in managing my clients’ book and leading my team. I also enjoy being exposed to different areas of the bank and the variety of work.

My clients are people I have known over a long period of time. In many cases, I know the entire family. Some see me as their family advisor; akin to a family doctor. I enjoy sharing with my team members and supporting them in developing their careers. I enjoy being part of the strategic planning team for the bank.

Always think for your clients and be there for them. As trusted advisors, one of our responsibilities is to assess the investment, financial and political environment, consider the risks and opportunities, and advise and propose solutions for clients. The industry has learnt the lesson of the recent financial turmoil and clients are similarly more aware of risk management, so it is important to provide advice on investments with measurable risks aligned to the client’s investment appetite.

I also like being part of the strategic planning team for the bank and at the same time, I am also managing our Coutts Giving committee here in Hong Kong. Philanthropy has long been a part of the bank’s history and the committee is the umbrella for our bank-supported community activities. This includes giving time and money, and sharing skills with registered charities who operate in the communities we live and work in.

The industry today is very different from when I started. Asia is home to eight of the world’s 10 fastest-growing high-net-worth populations, but only a small part of that wealth is managed by professional wealth managers. This clearly means there are opportunities to capture a greater slice of the action.

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