What is the Enhanced Competency Framework?
The Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) sets out an enhanced level of core competence and on-going professional development of private wealth management (PWM) practitioners who undertake customer-facing roles. It is a non-statutory framework separate from the existing licensing or registration regime for the securities industry.
The ECF is PWM-oriented, covering knowledge of Asia Pacific markets and practical application of PWM-related knowledge, with strong emphasis on ethics and compliance.
Is it mandatory for private wealth management practitioners to obtain ECF certification?
The ECF is a non-statutory framework separate from the existing licensing or registration regime for the securities industry. It is to be adopted voluntarily by PWM practitioners. For the avoidance of doubt, individuals are still required to meet the licensing or registration requirements under the Securities and Futures Ordinance.
Which organization is considered a PWM institution? Does PWMA have a list of such institutions?
A private bank, or an authorized institution/SFC-licensed corporation with a dedicated unit(s) that maintains a personalized relationship with private banking customers*, and provides personalized banking services, dealing, advisory and/or portfolio management services to these customers is considered a PWM institution for the purpose of ECF.
PWM institutions include, but are not limited to, member institutions of PWMA.
Nonetheless, for PWM client-facing work experience at a non-PWMA member institution to be recognized for the purpose of ECF, substantiation has to be provided to demonstrate that the institution (or a unit of the institution) is or was dedicated to serve private banking customers during the period of experience.
* A “private banking customer” refers to a customer who maintains a personalized relationship with the PWM institution and receives personalized banking services, dealing, advisory or asset / portfolio management services from the PWM institution, and has:
a) at least USD3 million or its equivalent in any other currency in investable assets; or
b) at least USD1 million or its equivalent in any other currency in investable assets under the PWM institution’s management.
Investable assets comprise securities, deposits and certificates of deposits. The amount may be calculated on a relationship basis covering (i) individual accounts; (ii) joint accounts with associates; and (iii) personal investment companies wholly-owned by the individual or jointly owned with associates. Associate means the spouse or any child of that individual.