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Distribution of financial services and products to individuals is key business of retail and private banks, and insurance and independent financial advisory companies. Having a strong customer base, banks are able to cross-sell a wide range of products such as deposits, personal loans, credit cards and insurance through branches, e-channels, mobile direct sales and customer hotlines.
Not just banks, financial institutions nowadays are selling a package of wealth management services and strategies, instead of sole products. To meet the growing financial needs of customers, the sales teams must work closely with product design, research and support staff to deliver tailored financial planning and investment advices, according to clients’ life stages. It is about building a long term relationship by providing different insurance or pension schemes, etc.
Advanced financial products and wealth solutions are not limited to High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), a group of people having at least US$1 million in liquid assets, indeed “sub-HNWI” or emerging middle class are targets of the institutions. To serve this well-informed customer segment, a lot more knowledge is required to identify their needs and recommend appropriate financial products. Qualified intermediaries with proven track records are highly sought after in the sales and distribution field.
Institutional sales help maintain relationships with corporate clients and match the services and products to their needs. To better serve the clients, the front line professionals have to work closely with different parties, including trading and research teams, to provide market updates, help structure and execute the transactions. Product development experience, local language skills and cross cultural understanding are beneficial to the performance of the sales and marketing force.
Sales exist in different segments of wholesale business within a financial institution. A commercial bank may offer a range of financial products and services such as credit, treasury, asset management services to corporate clients, they trade in bulk or in more sophisticated and complex forms when compared with the retail distribution business.
Investment banks are keen to help corporations raise funds from the capital and bond markets. As the offering size of an IPO or the issue of debt can be huge, the underwriters usually actively look for selling the shares or debt to institutional and cornerstone investors.