A VIEW FROM THE TOP | Shirley Lee Head, Human Resources, ipac Wealth Management Asia
by Lisa Cheong
What is the one thing you look out for in an interview
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 for a manager job or even a director job, 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
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
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 ﬁnancial 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 beneﬁts include ﬂexible working hours, childcare leave (for either mothers or
fathers), and wellness beneﬁts.