CPSC Persona

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Persona - Private Banker in Hong Kong

We have created a persona for a private banker in Hong Kong based on information about Kathryn Shih. She is called the grand dame of wealth management in Asia. Shih has been the President of UBS Asia Pacific for the past two years. She is married with two children and started out one day by telling her boss "give me some people. I'll give them some clients because I can't handle all of them myself", and that is how UBS grew to be a 380 billion Swiss franc bank on the way to 500 billion. Please see the attached document for the developed persona based on the information above.


Kathyrn Shih is President of UBS Asia Pacific. Prior to becoming President, she was the Group Managing Director and was labeled the best leader in private banking. She took on the President role more than 2 years ago. Shih has been in the banking industry for nearly 30 years since 1987.


Shih grew up in the Philippines with her family and they left when she was a teenager headed for Singapore. She graduated from high school in Singapore and went on to the United States to get a B. A. degree from Indiana University Bloomington and then back to the Philippines for her Master’s Degree. She moved to Hong Kong in 1983 and eventually got married and had two children.

Shih is a private person. She attends work-related social engagements, but otherwise just has a close-knit group of friends and family that she enjoys time with. Shih is an avid golfer and enjoys hitting the links in Fanling on the weekends and enjoys trips to play in Vancouver in the summer. Tennis is also a passion for her and she dials up friends for last minute late night games.


Shih started out with Citibank before moving to UBS. She states that the market is very competitive as every bank is trying to invest in wealth management. At UBS, Shih has had multiple roles. She started out in 1987 in wealth management and then moved to Head of wealth management for the Asia Pacific. After that, she was promoted to Group Managing Director, which was just prior to being appointed President. She is one of only two women in top leadership at UBS.

Shih is a member of the UBS Executive Board and in the past was a member of the executive committee for The Private Wealth Management Association.

Shih states that sexism is often there because one puts it there. She hasn't realized it, so it's not there. She said that typical women are not expected to be assertive or aggressive and you have to learn to find a balance between respectful and aggressive.


As the leading wealth manager in the region, UBS currently employs 9,000 people. One of the main goals Shih has with UBS is to take the bank from 380 billion Swiss francs to 500 billion. In the past year, the bank increased by 100 billion, so Shih believes this is a realistic goal within the next 18 months.

As the bank neared failure, UBS realized it needed a new strategy. Shih stated, "I learned that you can fail and that you have to be more aware of the risks". This speaks toward a mid-line of conservative and liberal. With that said, UBS decided that not having the right team and not being fast enough will not help you succeed in the business. Shih's quote of "Even as number two, you are the first loser" has pushed them to work toward finding the right team and growing faster to reach their goals. Shih claims that you only need to convince 10% of the staff and the rest will follow. She is very analytical when looking at the numbers.


When Shih took over as President, the bank was on the cusp of failing and she has worked hard to help bring it back. Some tasks she is focused on are as follows:

1. Create a perfect team
2. Building new clients and growing fast
3. Focus on growing business in Japan and China


Some frustrations of private bankers in Hong Kong are as follows:

1. Regulatory environment keeps getting tougher
2. Growing competition in the market
3. Continue doubling the bank's assets at rates of at least 10% per year.


In summary, we have provided detailed information about Kathryn Shih to develop the persona of a private banker in Hong Kong. She is considered the grand dame of wealth management. She is married with two children. As an active, but private person, Shih attends social engagements that are work-related but otherwise enjoys time with family and close friends. An important quote to her is "even as the number two, you are the first loser". Some of her goals and tasks are to find a dominant team for UBS and grow the business faster than the competition grows. Shih's has expressed frustration with the regulatory environment and growing competition in the wealth management market. Information on the brands for Kathryn Shih or this persona was publicly unavailable. Please see the attached document for the developed persona based on the information above.
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Persona - Financial Advisor in North America

We have compiled demographic data to create a persona for North American financial advisors. The median age of a financial advisor in the US and Canada is 43.7 years old. It is a male dominated profession with many located in New York, California, Texas, and Florida. They typically work in with securities, commodities, funds, trusts, and therefore are there is a large concentration of them in New York City. They can expect to earn over $100,000 per year.


Gender: Majority male; 8 per cent of personal financial advisers in March 2015 were women, up from 36 per cent in 2014.

Top 3 Job Titles
- Certified Financial Planner
- Chartered Financial Analyst
- Personal Financial Specialist

Companies: Acuity, Robert W. Baird & Co., Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. (Note: These three financial service/insurance companies ranked high in Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For" survey results.)

Location: As stated on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the top 5 states who employ the largest amount of financial advisors are:
- New York
- California
- Illinois
- Texas
- Florida

"As an Edward Jones financial advisor, I believe it’s important to invest my time to understand what you’re working toward before you invest your money. It's also important to understand the level of risk you're comfortable accepting when investing so we can balance it with the steps necessary to help reach your long-term goals."
(This quote was found on the LinkedIn page of Chris Conrad, an advisor at Edward Jones.)

Educational Background:

Most Common Collegiate Majors of Financial Advisors
1. Business
2. Social Sciences
3. Communications
Most Specialized Collegiate Majors of Financial Advisors
1. Communication Technologies
2. Transportation
3. Personal & Culinary Services


Gleaned from the Bureau of Labor statistics, the following skills will most contribute to the success of a financial advisor:
- Reading Comprehension
- Speaking
- Monitoring
- Active listening
- Critical thinking

The Financial Times shares that according to female advisors, attributes which are typically "associated with women -- being approachable, good listeners, attentive to detail" give them an edge when acquiring new clients of both sexes.


The most common industries, as stated on Data USA, employing personal financial advisors, by number of employees are:
- Securities, commodities, funds, trusts & other financial investments
- Banking & related activities
- Insurance carriers & related activities.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, personal financial advisors were mostly employed in an industry defined as "Other Financial Investment Activities."


According to Investopedia, a successful financial advisors should strive to meet these goals:
- Define a target market
- Choose a business model that will allow the best service to clients
- Be objective and avoid conflicts of interest
- Learn to multi-task efficiently


The following is Macfadden's job description, which is listed on Devex, for its financial advisor:
"- Serves as advisor to the Program Manager on all financial issues related to the task order.
- Oversees the day-to-day management of vendor and subcontractor invoices, purchase orders, corporate credit card, travel expenses, and other payment vehicles as required.
- Collect, review, and track all recurring office operating expenses, including building and equipment leases, utilities and supply orders.
- Assist Program Manager to review monthly client invoices, update. - Financial Status Report and support other contract financial management tasks.
- Create and track purchase orders issued under the contract. Record and verify receipts and expense reports for petty cash.
- Assist with miscellaneous task order and client requests as needed."

The following is a list of tasks to be performed by a financial planner, a type of financial advisor found on The Balance:
- Assist clients in: creating personal budgets, controlling spending, and goal setting in order to build their wealth.
- Maintain relationships with professionals in finance and investment fields
- Stay up-to-date regarding "developments in financial products, tax laws and strategies for personal financial management, particularly with respect to retirement plans and estates."


As stated on Investopedia, "financial advisors today have a myriad of challenges facing them in their daily practices," as they migrate between their various responsibilities. Here are some challenges they face:
- Managing client expectations. Clients sometimes hold unrealistic expectations regarding the returns of their investments, and the financial advisor must prove their worth.
- Low interest rates.
- Staying in touch with clients, even when things are going well.
- Emotional engagement. Advisors need to be empathetic to their clients' emotions, although this can be hard as they are typically rational people.
- Loneliness. Sometimes advisors who work independently may feel alone, and in this case they may want to seek group support.

Brenda, a financial advisor, illustrates a possible path to the career. The information is not made up; instead, it has been extracted from her professional online profile.
Brenda began as a personal banker for six years, becoming a licensed banker for seven years, then a regional private banker for one, before becoming a financial advisor. She has now been a financial advisor for over two years with Wells Fargo, where she seeks "long-term relationship[s] with [her] clients" and helps them to develop "strategies designed to create, preserve, and transfer wealth."

- Merrill Edge
- Nationwide

Preferred Channels:
According to an article on Advisor Perspectives, advisors haven't altered their means of communication with clients in decades. Richards, the writer, suggests advisors incorporate some following "new rules," used by a veteran advisor and his team, of communication into their client interactions:
- Annual reviews
- Regular phone calls
- Quarterly market letter
- Quarterly webinar and conference call
- Monthly article
- Weekly blog
- Annual Outlook sessions
- Monthly lunches


The typical financial advisor in North American will be a white man, in his 40s living in or around New York City. Less than a third of financial advisors are women. Female advisors are seen as approachable and attentive to detail which many clients prefer. Independent financial advisors may face loneliness if they work alone. All advisors will benefit from being empathetic to their clients financial goals.
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Persona - RIA in North America


We have complied data from the top five Registered Investment Advisers (RIA) from Bridgeworth LLC, one of the top Registered Financial Adviser firms in North America, and have used it to create the persona of a typical Registered Investment Adviser. The median age of the RIA is 48 years old; the title the persona adheres to is Certified Financial Planner; this persona has a personality that is extroverted and physically active; the ultimate goal of this persona is to gain customer confidence and satisfaction; the tasks they perform are comprehensive financial planning, investment planning, and retirement planning; and the things that frustrate them are identifying and addressing the clients intricate financial needs and looking at their clients greater financial picture while guiding them.


These Certified Financial Planners did not have their ages posted anywhere, so we took their years of education and used them to calculate their estimated ages. David Clark is estimated to be 51. Marc Curles is approximately 48. Sam Fitch is likely 50 years old. Jeris B. Gaston is 35. Our last RIA, WIlliam Holcutt, is assumed to be 30 years old.

Using the above information, the median age for the RIA persona is 48 years and the average age for the persona is 42.8 years. There is a large spread of years through the persona, but three of the five are over 45 years of age; so, in this circumstance, we would say the median age is a better representation. Thus, the age of the persona is 48 years.


All five Registered Investment Advisers from our research group used Certified Financial Provider as their designated title. Four of the Advisers also used additional titles, David Clark and William Hocutt are Certified Public Accountants, and Marc Curles and Jeris B. Gaston are Chartered Financial Planning Counselors. Sam Fitch is the only Adviser to only go by the title Certified Financial Provider.
So, the RIA persona may have other titles they go by as well, but the title they are most likely to use is Certified Financial Provider (CFP).


David Clark loves being involved with his children's sports and he is an avid college football fan. David enjoys being out on the golf course and running local trails. He is a Board Member of Financial Planning Association of North Alabama.

Marc Curles and his wife are active members of the Hoover Country Club and Valleydale Church where Marc serves as a deacon and on the technical team. Marc works college football games as a Southeastern Conference referee. He and his family enjoy raising cattle in their spare time.

Sam Fitch is active in his church and is busy coaching youth sports.

Jeris B. Gaston has built her practice while maintaining an active role in the community. She currently serves as president of the Junior Board of the YWCA of Central Alabama, the Birmingham-Southern College Planning Giving Advisory Council, and is past president of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. In her limited spare time, enjoys visiting Birmingham’s fantastic restaurants, gardening, and running.

William Hocutt and his family are active members of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, where he leads a Sunday school class and serves on various boards. When he is not at work, William can be found coaching his children's little league teams.

With this information of the five RIAs personalities and hobbies, we were able to surmise the personality of our RIA persona. The persona of an RIA is extroverted, preferring to be involved in activities outside of the house. We can deduce the persona is more analytical than creative, due to no evidence of the five Advisers pursuing creative hobbies. The RIA persona is active rather than passive, it enjoys having accomplishments and pursuits outside of the workplace--as well as inside.


David Clark's goal is to identify an individual’s goals and assess his/her tolerance for risk, then work with his Bridgeworth team to develop a comprehensive financial plan, addressing the client’s unique needs.

Marc Curles' goal is to build customer relationships.

Sam Fitch's goal is to help clients articulate their financial goals, implement their plan, and help them navigate life's unexpected challenges.

Jeris B. Gaston helps her clients achieve both long-term and short-term goals; she always encourages planning long-term.

William Hocutt's goals are to help his clients analyze both the best vehicles to accumulate wealth and devise distribution strategies to ensure long-term financial goals are met.

With all this information, we can deduce the goal of the persona is to ensure customer satisfaction by addressing the customer's individual long-term and short-term goals, and by developing a plan that will meet those goals.


David Clark focuses on estate planning, risk management, and college funding for children and grandchildren. His other task is creating investment plans for wealth accumulation and retirement distribution.

Marc Curles task is to provide financial counsel involving retirement planning.

Sam Fitch's task has been the creation comprehensive financial plans for families and the long-term management of their investment portfolios.

Jeris B. Gaston's task has been advising clients in the areas of wealth accumulation, retirement planning, education planning, investment management, and comprehensive financial planning.

William Hocutt's task has been working with families in preparation of retirement.

The RIA persona's task is to focus on long-term finances, by committing to financial and investment planning in the meantime, with the final task of retirement planning.


David Clark is frustrated by addressing the unique complex financial needs of clients.

Marc Curles' frustrations include achieving a greater level of thinking and service to all of my clients.

Sam Fitch's frustrations include creating the correct financial plan.

Jeris B. Gaston's frustrations include recognizing the big picture while assisting clients reach their goals.

William Holcutt's frustrations include helping clients pick proper investments, explaining what effects financial returns, analyzing when to take social security, discussing the tax consequences, and focusing on areas of financial concern.

The typical RIA frustrations are finding what the client really needs and helping the client stay focused on their financial goals.


The typical RIA in North America is 48 years old and their title is Certified Financial Provider (CFP). The RIA persona would like to ensure customer satisfaction by addressing the customer's goals, and by developing a plan to meet them. The task of the RIA is to focus on long-term finances by committing to financial and investment planning for their clients. RIA persona's frustration is deducing clients financial needs and steering the client to accomplish financial goals.