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Financial Sector Raises Talent Management Game At MentorMe

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , 27 July 2020

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With everyone connecting on video these days, it is a natural progression for wealth and other financial sector professionals to use these channels to build skills. A business run from Hong Kong is pushing to take learning and aptitudes to a new level.

A Hong Kong-based business mentoring and supporting business, MentorMe, has gone live with English and Mandarin-based programmes to help wealth managers and other financial firms provide employees with professional effectiveness skills, sometimes called soft-skills, learning via video-on-demand.

MentorMe is run by financial sector professionals Denis Miles-Vinall and Glendy Chiu. Miles-Vinall used to head up talent acquisition for Merrill Lynch and Coutts in Hong Kong; he has 25 years of human resources experience under his belt, and is a certified coach. Chiu, has worked in the finance industry for more than 20 years, gaining experience at Merrill Lynch (HK), VTB Capital and Santander. She has held various senior executive positions in investment banking, corporate banking and private banking. (The firm's video editor operates from Australia.)

The business has programmes in a set of “tiers”, ranging from Tier 1 for the “general population” (covering subjects such as how to give a persuasive financial presentation, communicate with impact and network like an professional); Tier 2, for managers and team leaders (subjects include how to be a leader-manager, handling change and delivering tough messages), to Tier 3 for senior executives (covering being role models, challenging norms, strategic thinking and communicating a vision). 

The MentorMe courses are provided via mobile devices or desktop computers; with subjects being covered by videos of 3-6 minutes' length. MentorMe was designed specifically for finance professionals to give them learning on-demand whenever they need it.

Miles-Vinall says “Wealth management firms have limited budgets to train their people in critical effectiveness skills. For example, it’s simply too expensive to put everyone on a leadership or presentation skills programme in the same year. We created MentorMe as a cost-effective strategy to reach the entire population. All the programmes are tried and tested in financial institutions.

MentorMe creates rapid video-learning tailored to the customer's

requirements or their environment. For example, during the virus pandemic they released “Leading Remote Teams in Tough Times”.

Like most businesses, it tries to solve problems. 

“Over the years we found that all financial institutions have limited training budgets to upskill their people in essential professional effectiveness skills. For example, the cost of placing 2,000 people through a traditional presentation skills programme would be enormous,” Miles-Vinall said. “Years ago, managers would mentor their people in these types of skills, but nowadays managers are so overwhelmed with their own deliverables that few have the time to do so. Staff are searching online video portals for help, but these portals mostly offer generic programmes which do not suit financial services.”

The new business bridges this gap by giving digestible, video-on-demand professional effectiveness learning specifically for people working in finance, he said. “We are designed to be part of a company’s overall corporate learning and development strategy. Our programmes can be used as pre-training viewing, post-training reminders or, in many cases, to replace face-to face training.”

Asked about the target audience, Miles-Vinall said that the offering is aimed at people working in financial services at all levels including, but not limited to, banks, asset management, insurance and credit organisations. "The programmes we develop are necessary for people working in front, middle or back-office environments; and has three tiers depending on the seniority of the employees."

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