Remisier ups her game to serve tech-savvy clients

Ms Serene Chan, a remisier at UOB Kay Hian, says there are now more challenges and opportunities in her industry. Technology has enabled her to reap "to a certain extent the fruits of the buoyant stock markets in the US, Hong Kong and China".
Ms Serene Chan, a remisier at UOB Kay Hian, says there are now more challenges and opportunities in her industry. Technology has enabled her to reap "to a certain extent the fruits of the buoyant stock markets in the US, Hong Kong and China".ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Financial crises come and go and are part and parcel of regular cycles in the life of a remisier, says UOB Kay Hian remisier Serene Chan.

Ms Chan has ridden out at least four financial crises in her close to 20 years of work. Despite their severity, the threat to her livelihood receded each time.

But challenges posed by technological innovations - although less violent than market gyrations - are greater and have a more permanent impact on her industry.

"If we fail to manage the threat and to seize the opportunities offered by technological innovations, there is a risk that we may become less and less relevant," said Ms Chan, who is in her 40s.

RISK OF BECOMING IRRELEVANT

If we fail to manage the threat and to seize the opportunities offered by technological innovations, there is a risk that we may become less and less relevant.''

UOB KAY HIAN REMISIER SERENE CHAN, on the impact of technological change

While technology has created ways for her to reach out to more investors, it has also provided a platform for investors to switch to online trading, which pays remisiers a much lower commission.

But Ms Chan believes that there will always be a group of investors who prefer more personalised service from remisiers in terms of exchanging market views and information, as well as getting advice to help with their decision-making.

To keep up with sophisticated and tech-savvy clients, Ms Chan finds herself not just reading more but also conducting more in-depth research and drawing up charts in order to better present information to her clients.

"While the broking environment has become more challenging, it has also offered more opportunities. Investors have started to look beyond investing in equities in Singapore," she said.

In the last five to 10 years, Ms Chan has seen more investors venturing into other developed overseas markets such as Hong Kong and the United States.

Technology has enabled her to reap "to a certain extent the fruits of the buoyant stock markets in the US, Hong Kong and China".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2015, with the headline 'Remisier ups her game to serve tech-savvy clients'. Print Edition | Subscribe