STEP speak to Serene Lim, Associate Director for Business Development at Hawksford about her long-term relationship with STEP, growth opportunities and what challenges clients face.
STEP is brilliant at helping practitioners to gain knowledge and creating networking opportunities, says Serene Lim TEP from Singapore.
What does your firm do?
Hawksford helps families to take care of their wealth, entrepreneurs to succeed, multinational companies to operate and transact, and funds to maximise their returns. My role is to help clients marry up their corporate businesses and personal wealth and succession planning through offering structuring solutions.
What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?
I have been involved with STEP since I switched from a career in banking in 2006 to the trust industry and was introduced to its qualifications. STEP is brilliant at helping practitioners to gain knowledge and creating networking opportunities. I have always participated in the seminars, webinars, events and information sharing, and gained a lot.
In 2018, I was invited to join STEP Singapore as a committee member. After two years on the committee, I now serve as secretary and I really enjoy being able to give back to the organisation that gives its members so much.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
STEP’s learning culture creates the opportunity for professionals to increase their knowledge. Working in the trust industry means there are many different areas to gain a broad understanding of legal, accounting and audit matters - to name just three. STEP gives its members access to quality courses and information to help build knowledge and skills.
STEP also offers the opportunity to build a strong professional network. Through courses, conferences, and the committee we have the chance to get to know colleagues and intermediaries and often to build friendships.
What do you most like about your job?
I really enjoy meeting new people – be that colleagues, clients, prospects or intermediaries. There is always the opportunity to meet with clients, old or new, and understand the challenges they are facing and be part of the solution for their wealth structuring needs.
... and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
Being able to help connect clients with the right people to solve their wealth or corporate requirements and helping to create the most appropriate structuring solution is very rewarding and gives me a real sense of satisfaction.
What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?
There are many benefits to a career in the wealth industry. It is a very niche area that brings exposure to a broad range of complementary industries such as law, accounting, audit and corporate secretarial, which makes for a varied career.
Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?
Singapore will continue to be a centre of growth within the wealth and financial industry. Clients and businesses are attracted to its robust financial and legal infrastructure. The fact that professionals often speak both English and Mandarin means we are well placed to facilitate and attract investment and individuals from the east and the west.
There was a slow down in 2020 due to the global pandemic, but it has also encouraged individuals to consider succession planning within their estate and we expect to see further enquiries of this nature as well as setting up trusts, wills as well as family offices.
What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation/practitioners at the moment, and how will you deal with them?
One challenge we regularly face is the complexities of meeting multi-jurisdictional requirements of high net-worth families and individuals. With many families residing in multiple locations around the globe, I ensure that I work very closely with my clients towards obtaining tax and legal advice to meet their wealth structuring needs.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
LinkedIn is my professional channel for connecting with clients, prospects, and intermediaries as well as sharing news and updates about Hawksford.
I also have a WeChat account to reach our Chinese audience. It is a good platform to connect with industry friends and share engaging content. Hawksford has a strong presence across the China region and has a business WeChat account.
Hawksford regularly share market news, knowledge, and industry insights on its social media channels, including LinkedIn (@hawksford).
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