Sunday, 09 August 2020

OCBC Bank raises the bar for retail banking wealth advisors with first-of-its-kind certification programme using private banking standards

OCBC Bank is the first bank in Singapore to partner the Wealth Management Institute (WMI) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), Asia’s centre of excellence for wealth management education and research, to launch the OCBC-WMI Wealth Advisory Programme to equip its more than 330 wealth advisors with skills generally instilled only in private bankers.

This is the first-of-its-kind programme for OCBC Bank’s wealth advisors to deepen their capabilities in order to meet private banking standards. The OCBC-WMI Wealth Advisory Programme begins a process of raising standards for the entire industry by upskilling retail banking wealth advisors with strong investment advisory principles in portfolio construction and management, asset allocation, deep relationship management, and ethics and compliance. Such competencies are a dimension beyond the more product-centric approach towards financial planning that is adopted by many retail banking wealth advisors.

This unprecedented initiative fits into the industry transformation map (ITM) for the financial services industry, which envisions Singapore becoming a leading international wealth management hub. It was launched today at the OCBC Campus by Mr Ching Wei Hong, OCBC Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Dennis Tan, OCBC Bank’s Head of Consumer Financial Services Singapore, and Ms Foo Mee Har, Chief Executive Officer of WMI.

Mr Dennis Tan, Head of Consumer Financial Services Singapore, said: “Our ambition is to make our Premier Banking and Premier Private Client businesses the best in Singapore. As the Asian wealth market continues to surge, it is important for us to set the highest professional standards of banking, to capture even greater opportunities in the wealth market.”

He added: “We want to nurture our wealth advisors into world-class wealth management professionals, providing them with diverse learning opportunities to develop their careers with us. Our partnership with NTU’s Wealth Management Institute to create a specialised certification programme for our wealth advisors will enable them to provide our clients with unparalleled service and advisory.”

Ms Foo Mee Har, Chief Executive Officer of WMI, said, “Leveraging our extensive experience in providing wealth management education to 14,500 finance professionals, WMI is excited to partner OCBC to curate a set of bespoke advisory programmes that focuses strongly on upskilling their bankers with future ready competencies in investment advisory, portfolio management, asset allocation, wealth planning, digital skills, client management and ethical conduct. Together, these programmes will form a structured wealth management learning pathway for OCBC’s Premier Banking and Premier Private Client advisors. The faculty for the OCBC-WMI Advisory Programme will be drawn from WMI’s international network of lecturers, which include leading wealth management practitioners and NTU academics with extensive industry experience and who are well-versed with the latest trends and developments.”

Two certifications to equip wealth advisors

The OCBC-WMI Wealth Advisory Programme consists of two certifications – the OCBC-WMI Premier Wealth Certification and OCBC-WMI Premier Private Client Wealth Certification – and both will be aligned to the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) Standards. Senior industry practitioners from WMI will lead the training programmes.

All OCBC Premier Banking relationship managers will attend the OCBC-WMI Premier Wealth Certification course. The course focuses on developing skills in providing investment advisory and excellent client management. By contrast, it is more common for wealth advisors who manage mass affluent customers to be trained primarily in understanding products. OCBC Bank’s own Premier Banking investment and insurance products are employed as tools to ensure the training is realistic; using real life case studies and role-playing scenarios, the OCBC Bank wealth advisor practises portfolio construction, asset allocation, product application and deep relationship management skills.

The higher-level OCBC-WMI Premier Private Client Certification course is targeted at client advisors who serve OCBC Premier Private Client customers with assets under management (AUM) of S$1 million or more. The focus is on upskilling wealth advisors with elevated wealth advisory competencies; certification is intended to place the advisers on an industry level that is equivalent to that of private bankers.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker