Up-to-date training keeps professionals at top of game
HONG KONG'S FINANCIAL industry is widely recognised as part of the backbone of the economy and a sector that offers a wealth of career opportunities.
The industry has high expectations of its professional staff and expects them continually to upgrade their skills, talents, knowledge and creativity.
Michael Wong, an associate professor in the department of economics and finance at the City University of Hong Kong and the director of MSc programmes in banking, finance and financial engineering, said professionals would find it hard to succeed in an evolving market without up-to-date training.
City University offers three MSc programmes: MSc (Finance), MSc (Banking) and MSc (Financial Engineering).
In addition to teaching traditional banking and financial skills, the programmes are designed to support the fast-growing markets of financial derivatives and structured finance in Asia, and to train the next generation of quantitative analysts for investment banking.
Programmes are aimed at bankers and financial professionals with an average of seven years' experience.
Dr Wong said there was demand in Hong Kong and on the mainland for people with a sound background in a wide range of finance disciplines.
Financial executives are required in key areas, such as investment on the mainland, raising capital for investment, and short-term investment opportunities. There are also opportunities in the stock and futures markets, fund management, insurance, corporate banking, credit analysis, financial IT, bank auditing and risk management.
City University MSc graduates acquire methodological tools such as economics, quantitative methods and accounting while developing the analytical ability to handle the financial areas and investment activities in business corporations and institutions.
'Many new products are trading in the market, such as equity-linked notes, and asset-backed, insurance-linked and derivatives-linked securities. Financial professionals need to understand these products to market them to their clients efficiently and to manage financial risk effectively,' Dr Wong said.
These activities will continue to grow as Hong Kong expands its business role in China and Asia.
He said the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and rapid developments in the mainland's financial markets had created strong demand for professionals. 'To prepare for their market listing, many mainland banks will recruit professionals from Hong Kong to strengthen their risk management and business process,' Dr Wong said.