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Credit Suisse Wealth Institute Opens in Singapore

Credit Suisse’s first purpose-built training and competency hub in Asia Pacific for employees and clients

Credit Suisse today announced the official opening of its Wealth Institute in Singapore , the bank’s first such facility in Asia Pacific. Located in Singapore at One Raffles Link, the Credit Suisse Wealth Institute is the bank’s purpose-built regional training and competency hub, designed to meet the talent development and educational needs of its employees locally and from across its regional and global network. It is also a designated facility for the bank’s local and regional clients, where Credit Suisse shares information and expertise on how to best preserve and grow their wealth.

Francesco de Ferrari, Credit Suisse’s Head of Private Banking Asia Pacific, said: “The Wealth Institute reflects Credit Suisse’s firm commitment and continued investment in talent development and client partnership. Through the Institute, we wish to also contribute to the continued growth of Singapore as an international financial center, and help to further develop the pool of wealth management professionals and financial services leaders.”

Helman Sitohang, Credit Suisse’s Head of the Investment Bank Asia Pacific and CEO Southeast Asia, said: “As a global integrated bank, we believe that our ability to serve our clients with solutions tailored to their needs is a strong advantage in today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive marketplace. Our success ultimately depends on the skills and experience of our employees. We can only succeed if we continuously upgrade and develop our talent, particularly against an evolving industry landscape and increasing focus on client-facing employees’ competency and skills. At the same time, the Wealth Institute is also an important platform for Credit Suisse to create sustainable and impactful client partnerships by delivering outstanding client experiences.”

The Wealth Institute houses state-of-the-art training and conference facilities, equipped with the latest audio-visual and learning technologies. Its features include a main conference hall that seats more than 200 people, a suite of modular training rooms, e-learning and meeting rooms and an amphitheatre for client training.

The Wealth Institute has a team of Credit Suisse specialists dedicated to designing its curriculum in the areas of frontline training, leadership development, client competency enhancement and thought leadership research. It is supported by a faculty consisting of subject matter experts and senior leaders within the bank, as well as in-house and external trainers.

Focus on Frontline Training: Enhancing Quality of Client Services
More than 250 learning and development programs will be run at the Credit Suisse Wealth Institute in 2014, benefitting over 3,500 local, regional and global employee participants. Particular focus will be on programs that strengthen the competences of frontline employees particularly in the areas of client services and leadership development.

As early as 2005, Credit Suisse was the first financial institution to be accredited under the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) from Singapore’s Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) for its in-house private banking training programs. For its outstanding contribution in supporting the extensive roll-out of FICS accredited programs over the years, Credit Suisse received the 2013 FICS Inspire Award from the IBF.

Credit Suisse also pioneered a Frontline Training and Certification (FLT) program, a mandatory program for all its client-facing employees, to ensure that relationship managers globally can provide clear and comprehensive information about products, the risks and returns, and individual tailored offerings to suit different client needs. The certification process consists of rigorous web-based and classroom-based training as well as Client Interaction Simulation. To date, more than 4,000 Credit Suisse client-facing employees in Private Banking and Wealth Management globally, including around 800 in Asia Pacific, have undergone the training and have received certification. In Singapore, the FLT program is FICS accredited and is aligned with the Client Advisor Competency Standards (CACS) assessment administered by the IBF.

Developing Future Leaders and Young Talent for the Financial Industry
Leadership development is another focus of the Credit Suisse Wealth Institute, in recognition of the need to have experienced professionals with proven management qualities to drive the bank’s business forward and to help strengthen its competitive position. Talent development programs at Credit Suisse are created for different segments of senior managers and potential leaders at each stage of their career, preparing talented individuals for key roles within the organization through strengthening their leadership and management skills.

Another of Credit Suisse’s strategic human capital focus is developing young talent from within the bank. Credit Suisse seeks to recruit promising young professionals and offers them attractive career opportunities to encourage them to stay with the company in the long term. The bank works closely with renowned local and overseas universities in the area of campus recruiting, offering Summer Internship and Full-time Programs at both Analyst Undergraduate and Associate MBA level, across its Private Banking & Wealth Management, Investment Banking businesses, as well as support functions such as Operations, Information Technology and Finance.

Mr. de Ferrari said: “The aim is to gain a sustainable competitive advantage by attracting the right talent early, retaining them and developing the skills and institutional commitment that will result in long-term career success at Credit Suisse. This is particularly crucial for our Private Banking Asia Pacific business, where the intense demand for high caliber relationship managers far outstrips the limited talent pool available in this relatively nascent industry.”

Client Partnership Hub
The Credit Suisse Wealth Institute is also the premier facility providing clients exclusive access to the bank’s thought leadership, experts and events. The Wealth Institute will be staging more than 35 major events and programs as well as rolling out thought leadership research for Credit Suisse’s local and regional clients this year, on topics ranging from financial products, investments, family offices and family legacy planning to philanthropy.

Upcoming programs at the Wealth Institute include a Philanthropy Roundtable on Social Entrepreneurship; a series of six workshops over the next three years designed to help clients consider the various issues surrounding the generational transition of family businesses and wealth; a seminar series designed for Ultra High Net Worth clients and their family members to enhance their financial knowledge and ability to network and exchange ideas; the annual Asia Pacific Legacy Program for clients’ next generation and many other educational forums, seminars as well as experiential and lifestyle events.