Dollars and sense

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2006, 12:00am

How they got where they are today

Cecilia Chan

HSBC Halbis Partners director, head of fixed income

IT WOULD BE a great deal tougher to do my job without the help of my assistant, Daisy Kwok, who has been with me ever since I joined the company 12 years ago.

Daisy is wonderful in taking care of administration details. This leaves me free to concentrate on the big picture and I rarely have to worry about the small things, which are often just as important.

I work in a small team of eight people, consisting of fund managers and analysts.

We have been together for about three years. It is important that we all get along well because we are a small group that needs to work effectively. We manage this by being respectful and supportive of one another.

It is not always easy to be a team player and sometimes you really have to work at it. I see it as part of my job to try to create the right working environment.

When we need to recruit a new team member, I am very careful about the selection process. It is important to find out how dedicated a new member of the team will be and how he or she will get along with other members.

I try to instil in my colleagues a belief in personal drive and the desire to succeed.

In our line of work, it is important for people to have an analytical mind and a long-term perspective. In addition, they need the ability to build trust with clients and colleagues. Communication skills are also vital and people must be good team players to support each other so that each individual can achieve his or her goals.

No organisation exemplifies this kind of support better than HSBC. The bank is widely recognised for offering learning opportunities and dedicated support that allows ambitious employees to reach their full potential.

There are many positives in working as a small group. For example, I get to know people very well, almost to the point where they become like a part of my family. The downside to this is that when they move on in their careers I miss them. But then it is also a time to feel happy and proud, and hope that in some way I have helped them take the next step as the new generation of experienced bankers.

Sometimes, when we need to work late, I take my colleagues out for dinner. Not only does this give all of us a break from work and the chance to chat in a social environment, I hope it shows I genuinely care about them.

I never underestimate the benefits of a calm working atmosphere. As the head of my department, I want my colleagues to have peace of mind, enjoy their home and social lives and be confident about their future.

In the work environment, my colleagues hopefully know they can make a personal investment in their future, such as buying a home and raising a family while being reassured that their firm cares about them.