Joining Goldman Sachs as an analyst in private wealth management was a great opportunity to learn about investments and client management. I learned how to source leads, make initial contact with prospects, and leverage the firm’s resources to build a book of business on Goldman’s platform from some of the best senior bankers at the firm. These senior bankers were really helpful to me in my earlier years in the industry, which at times were daunting and challenging. They remain mentors, both in my professional and personal lives.
Getting started in a new role is never an easy task, especially when it involves arranging meetings with very successful clients—often entrepreneurs who are extremely busy and focused on their ventures. To gain their respect and trust takes time and effort, and I always tried to equip myself with as much knowledge and do as much background research as possible. At Goldman Sachs, we work as a team so I would also bring senior bankers and managers to important meetings. While the process of identifying prospects, setting meetings, following up, and eventually converting prospects into clients can be quite challenging, I find it rewarding and gratifying. It takes dedication and persistence.
Today, I’m a private wealth advisor (PWA) covering China and Hong Kong, spending most of my time working with clients and collaborating with colleagues to find the best solutions for them. Each client’s situation is unique, and we take pride in establishing close relationships, understanding them, and coming up with the best solutions. As a PWA, it’s important to be highly self-motivated and to have a very strong work ethic and sense of accountability to clients and the business. One must embrace the entrepreneurial aspects of the job—it can come with lots of freedom and flexibility—but to do it well takes self-discipline and personal accountability.
One thing I enjoy most about my job is developing close client relationships and becoming a trusted advisor. Whether it’s regarding investment opportunities, trust and estate planning, family relations, philanthropy, their children’s education, or even healthcare solutions, I find it gratifying to be able to help. The private wealth management business is all about personal relationships and I’m fortunate to have developed some close friendships. It doesn’t happen all the time. In fact, some people I’ve met never ended up being clients, but I call them friends now.
I have learned that when advising a client, you have to consider all options, even the option to not do something. A PWA is trained to be able to identify risks, and it’s our job as trusted advisors to explain them and help clients through a process of elimination to decide what they are comfortable with and what solution is best. It’s precisely through these value-adding dialogues that we establish our credibility and enhance our relationships.
Becoming a mother has definitely added another dimension to my client relationships. All of my clients have kids, and naturally, we love to talk about our kids and share parenting tips. Among many things I have learned from my clients, balancing between work and life is top of mind. Effective time management both at home and at work is critical for working parents—especially when balancing a job at Goldman Sachs and the demands of three young boys. As parents, we are constant role models for our kids, and with the flexibility to work from home, my children get to see firsthand how their mom is working hard for her clients.