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Charles Monat Associates CEO Berry Wong said the company is hiring more staff to fulfil a need for personalised services among high net worth clients. Photo: David Wong

Charles Monat Associates looks to classic customer service in bid to attract high net worth clients

Charles Monat Associates, one of the largest insurance brokers in Hong Kong, plans to boost staff by up to 30pc in effort to improve personalised services for wealthy clients


Hong Kong insurance brokerage firm Charles Monat Associates is catering to its high net worth clients by ramping up an old school model of customer service geared towards those not so familiar with the online world.

Charles Monat chief executive Berry Wong Kwok-wai said while the firm would invest in technology to enhance efficiency for back office operations, he plans to invest the most in hiring the right talent toS serve clients in person.

The expansion will mean 20 to 30 per cent growth in headcount in the next few years. The company, which is one of the largest insurance brokers in the city, has about 160 staff in Hong Kong, Zurich, Liechtenstein, Miami and Singapore.

“While many younger customers may be interested to use smartphones or the internet, customers who are between 50 to 70 prefer the more traditional way of contacting their relationship managers,” Wong told the South China Morning Post.

Wong worked in private banking for institutions such as HSBC Holdings and BNP Paribas before he joined Charles Monat in July.

“I have been a private banker for many years. I found that most high net worth clients may like to search information online,” he said. “However, whenever they need to handle a large sum, they always like to find a banker face to face to handle the transaction for them instead of just pushing a button on their computer.”

“This is why I do not think we should move everything online yet. We need to wait and see what our clients want before we make any changes.”

The company was founded by American Charles Monat in Hong Kong in 1971.

The company was sold to international wealth management group Willis Towers Watson in 2014. Earlier this year the management of Charles Monat agreed to buy 100 per cent of the global wealth solutions business of Willis Towers Watson.

Wong said the management buyout provides staff at Charles Monat more flexibility while cooperating with Willis Towers Watson in the marketing and distribution of its products to clients.

Charles Monat’sbusiness model involves teaming up with a number of private banks and insurance companies to target high net worth clients. Services range from the provision of medical and life insurance to specialised insurance to cover areas such as antique, yacht or even private jets. They also offer other services such as investment and succession planning,

“We represent our client to find the best products from various insurance companies to meet their needs,” Wong said.