A view from the top - ipac Wealth Management

Shirley Lee
Head, Human Resources
ipac Wealth Management Asia


What is the one thing you look out for in an interview candidate?

I pay attention to candidates’ attitudes and mindsets, which are reflected in the way they answer competency-based questions that require them to relate real-life experiences and how they manage such situations; for example: “What is one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make at work, and how did you handle it?” It is a challenge to get to know a person very well from an interview, so the interview is often conducted by a panel of people, in order to gain a better appreciation and assessment of each candidate.

Best career advice you’ve ever received?
“Have faith and pursue the purpose.” It refers to the alignment of values with the company’s values, and doing what is important in pursuit of vision and purpose. This is not something easily accomplished, hence you also need to believe in yourself and your purpose. Another good reminder is that it is not difficult to possess technical leadership, but it is a challenge to build up people or personal leadership.

What is one skill employees would need in the future?
Humility and the ability to adapt, which go together hand-in-hand. Without humility, a person will not learn, let alone be open to change. The world is changing continuously, hence the journey of learning, adapting and taking on personal leadership never stops. It’s not just one skill, but rather a mindset, which drives people’s ability to learn, adapt, and excel.

How should I approach my boss to ask for a raise in my salary?
First, by proving that you are worthy of a raise through action and results, and showing the value you bring to your team and the business. Allow your boss to be in the position to appreciate and recognise this, and then you will be able to say that you do believe in being rewarded fairly.

What is the biggest misconception about the industry that you work in?
As a financial advisory firm, we are often perceived as product-pushers because there are some firms which state that they offer fi nancial advice but focus instead on promoting products. There is also a misconception that professional financial advice is not needed, or that it should be free.

The reality is we provide financial planning advice to help people achieve their lifestyle goals and financial objectives. ipac aims to help clients be in control of their money, and not the other way around. As people live longer and the period of retirement increases, the importance of planning
early has become increasingly critical. The goal of our advisers is to enable clients to attain financial independence through proper, robust long-term planning and management of their personal finances, not through hot stock tips or “sexy” products.

What makes your company a great place to work?
We greatly value employee feedback and engagement. Everyone shares a common language and understanding of the company’s vision and values, and we encourage open communication and sharing of ideas to help us strive towards becoming a preferred company for customers, employees and shareholders. ipac also provides learning and development opportunities for our existing talent. We place great emphasis on employee development and personal leadership, and one of our unique leadership programmes is cascaded through the company from senior management to support staff. We also believe in the importance of work-life balance, hence our employee benefi ts include flexible
working hours, childcare leave (for either mothers or fathers), and wellness benefits.

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