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Careers: Here's how to become a private banker

Last updated on: June 2, 2011 12:27 IST
Anshu Kapoor, senior vice president -- Wealth Advisory and Investment Services, Edelweiss Capital

Want to advice high net worth individuals on how they can maximise their wealth? Here's a talent development programme that envisions making private bankers with highest standards of excellence and performance.

In the late '90s when the Indian IT industry faced a shortage of talent pool to service their clients abroad they turned inwards by setting up talent development programmes that helped narrow the gap.

Today, the financial services industry is facing a similar handicap.

However, as reports of a 37 per cent increase in the number of Indian millionaire households in 2010, taking the number of Indian millionaires to 2,00,000 trickles in, Edelweiss has come up with a programme that identifies high-achieving sales professional from different companies, hires and trains them for a year in their pursuit to reduce the talent gap.

In an e-mail interaction with Prasanna D Zore, Anshu Kapoor, senior vice president -- Wealth Advisory and Investment Services, Edelweiss Capital, discusses the merits, eligibility criteria and the career path the programme offers to high-achievers.

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Careers: Here's how to become a private banker

Last updated on: June 2, 2011 12:27 IST

What is the Edelweiss Private Banker Programme?

The Edelweiss Private Banker Programme (PBP) is a world-class talent development programme that identifies, assesses, and trains sales professionals from varied sectors to become the finest wealth management professionals. This programme has a vision of consistently developing a pool of private bankers with highest standards of excellence and performance.

PBP targets candidates with a first class graduation in any stream and 4 to 7 years of sales experience, who have a flair for relationship management. It is a significant aspirational opportunity for the participants to be groomed into elite private banking professionals with strong functional skills and significantly enhanced career prospects.

How do you decide who fits the bill to be eligible for this programme?

Edelweiss PBP reaches out to candidates who have at least four years of experience in sales with a good academic and professional track record. More importantly each candidate goes through a rigorous four-stage screening and selection process where he or she is assessed on the various competencies that have been defined as essential for this role. The competencies have been crystallised after significant research, competitor and industry benchmarking and internal discussions.

The entire selection process is one of a kind with a unique assessment centre being the core of it wherein the participants will undergo a full day of activities in the presence of a panel of observers and assessors who would assess their demonstrated competencies. Some of these are client-centricity, integrity, entrepreneurial skills and drive for success.

Careers: Here's how to become a private banker

Last updated on: June 2, 2011 12:27 IST

Who and how does it benefit the participants?

This programme is a unique opportunity for the top sales professionals to transition to the financial services industry, which is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. Participants have the opportunity to fast track their careers by building unique skills.

The selected candidates will undergo an intensive twelve-month, on-the-job learning programme which involves understanding financial concepts, wealth management strategies, client interaction skills as well as a host of other skills required to be a top notch private banker. We are confident PBP will generate world-class private bankers who can advise high net worth clients in India.

How do you go about headhunting such hires?

An exclusive web site has been launched for this programme which contains all the details of the programme including the selection process and an online application form. The response to this has been tremendous with over 600 registrations received since its launch a few days back.'

We are using both print and online media to reach the target candidates. In addition, we are also using targeted head hunting through recruitment consultants. An important part of our marketing strategy is our employees and colleagues who are supporting this initiative ubiquitously.

Careers: Here's how to become a private banker

Last updated on: June 2, 2011 12:27 IST

What happens once you hire a high-growth achiever as an Edelweiss employee? What kind of career opportunities do they have once they join the company through this project?

Edelweiss in one of India's fastest growing financial services organisations, with businesses straddling retail capital markets (wealth management, retail broking, insurance, housing finance and asset management), wholesale capital markets (investment banking, institutional equities, alternative assets and wholesale financing).

This opportunity provides high-achievers to grow within the wealth management space and also opens up opportunities across the spectrum of abovementioned businesses.

What explains the logic of this programme? How does it benefit Edelweiss?

The wealth management industry in India is going through a rapid growth, with the Indians getting wealthier, with global business and personal exposure, dynamically changing needs and investment options getting increasingly varied and sophisticated. Thus the need for a versatile, suave and understanding wealth manager is gaining prominence. Unfortunately the number of private bankers/financial advisors with the ability to advise this clientele is very limited, leading to a talent pool gap.

We are hopeful such innovative programmes will steadily increase the talent pool especially given that there are very few academic programmes that are addressing this need effectively.

In the late 90s when the IT industry came on its own in India, the players felt a similar handicap of talent pool and as a result the top IT players started their own talent programmes and learning centres. These centres of learning have now become global centres of excellence and training for a wide number of professionals. We envisage that something similar though on a more sophisticated rather than mass scale will be witnessed in the financial services sector also.

Edelweiss has always been a thought leader and this programme is a product of our understanding of trends before others and developing a solution around it.

How many employees have you hired under this programme?

We expect to hire 15 to 20 candidates through this programme for the current year. Our plans for next year would be much bigger.