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Get Insights And Find Out The Skills and Qualities Required To Be Successful In The Financial Services Industry!

Posted on 2018-06-11 04:47:00

GRADUAN interviewed Chew Siew Suan, Executive Vice President and Head, Group Human Resource Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad on insights of the financial services industry.

Can you talk about your role as the Head Group Human Resource? What does it entail?
In the current dynamic environment, as Head of Group Human Resource at Alliance Bank, I have to play a myriad of roles including being a mentor, coach and buddy to my colleagues, within and outside of the Human Resource department. As a leader, there is a continuous need to inspire and unleash the potential of each team member, and to provide opportunities for growth

Share with our readers what to expect of the financial services industry.
The financial services industry is competitive, fast paced and highly regulated. This is an exciting time to join us, with the financial services industry brimming with potential for future-proof digitalisation initiatives and fintech collaborations.

At Alliance Bank, we care about developing innovative products that are fast, simple, responsive and aligned to our client’s needs while remaining within the boundaries of ethics, compliance and regulatory requirements.

Being in this industry gives one the opportunity to continuously learn, build alliances and improve the lives of those we serve.

What are the five qualities of a successful individual in the industry?
As the industry is constantly evolving, some of the qualities that we at Alliance Bank think would be essential for success are:

a) Commit to Excellence
Each and every individual must deliver superior outcomes in everything they do:

• If you are in sales, strive to deliver the best sales performance and service excellence to delight those you serve;
• If you are in product development target to deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of your clients;
• If you are in an operations role, always challenge the status quo and strive to develop straight through processes that shorten turnaround time and result in exceptional client experience

b) Take Ownership
Everyone holds themselves accountable for the Bank’s success and honours their commitments. It is about taking personal responsibility for your own deliverables while also giving assistance and guidance to each other within the organization to ensure the Bank’s success collectively.

c) Collaborate
Everyone works with internal and external partners to achieve mutually beneficial solutions.

In today’s world, building alliances is key to achieve success. Employees are not only expected to collaborate within their own teams and collaborate cross functionally, they are also required to collaborate with external business partners to enhance our output to our clients.

However, those who are truly successful are those who collaborate with their clients, striving to understand their needs and deliver solutions that meet their needs

d) Understand and Act
Everyone listens to their clients (both internal and external), understands what is required, and only then comes up with tailor made solutions to address their needs

e) Innovate and Simplify
At Alliance Bank, we encourage everyone to challenge the status quo to find better alternatives.

Everyone at the Bank is encouraged to give feedback and ideas through various channels. These ideas are deliberated and subsequently implemented!

We believe that these five key behaviours are essential for the Bank to achieve its Vision of “Building Alliances to Improve Lives” as well as becoming successful bankers!

What are some important skills an individual must have to do well in the industry?
I believe that the three main skills one needs to succeed are:

a) Agility
In a rapidly evolving industry, the ability to view ambiguity and change positively, adapt to change and be agile in addressing problems quickly and nimbly, while planning for and adapting to changing situations is essential.

b) Communication
Able to clearly convey the goals and objectives of the organization / department to drive the team to achieve a common goal

c) Analytical thinking and entrepreneurial spirit
Ability to think outside the box, anticipate and solve problems

What kind of career can one expect in the industry? The popular roles, the opportunities, etc.
The banking industry provides opportunities for various roles for experienced and fresh candidates. The roles in banking have shifted over time, along with the popularity of the type of roles. We have seen a rise in roles that involves big data and financial modeling as well as compliance.

Among fresh graduates, we still see the popularity for roles in investment banking and financial markets. Due to the growth of banking into the digital space, we also see a need in the digital marketing and customer experience segments.

What about the specific roles/opportunities in Alliance Bank itself?
Alliance Bank is focused on providing innovative financial solutions that are fast, simple, responsive, and aligned to our customer’s needs.

To achieve this, we look for talented individuals who are able to help us shorten, automate, and digitise processes, increase our digital presence while also expanding our footprint around the country with a larger team on the frontline.

We have numerous roles for those with strategic planning as well as business/campaign analysis, data modeling, and digital marketing experience.

Compliance remains a steadfast importance to Alliance Bank. Hence, we welcome people with an interest in risk management and compliance background to join us.

As a fresh graduate, how can one prepare themselves for a career in the finance service industry?
The financial services industry is vast. In order to succeed, you need to have an understanding of the financial industry and the different components.

Be curious, do your homework, carry out your personal research, and understand the different roles within the industry.

Stay informed on how the financial markets impact the industry, the new developments in the financial industry like fintech that is disrupting banking as we know it, and the regulatory requirements that governs the industry.

Being informed and educated enables you to address challenges effectively. Look at different industries that have evolved and see how the financial industry can benefit.

Last but not least, never discount your own fresh perspective. Your point of view may offer new opportunities and contribute towards the banking and financial services sector.

How does Alliance Bank train/equip its new hires with the right skills and attitude for the industry?
We have a clear talent development roadmap for all levels of new hires, which is carried out in various phases. Our talent development programme covers modules to enhance employees’ technical skills, soft skills as well as leadership skills.


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