My sister was having a three-day training, so when I arrived at her place at around 6:30PM on March 7, Mandy and Matthew were already had their dinner and were playing – while their mom was still working after the training. As usual, the naughty Matthew couldn’t sit still, always on the move – although he’s not fully recuperated from his cough and cold yet. (My sister told me that nothing can stop Matthew from playing and moving around and teasing his sister but the 400C fever.)
Around 8:30PM, I kissed Mandy and Matthew good night – they’re both tired after the visit to the zoo with their school friends during the day. I was trying to finish reading The Dip by Seth Godin. (Geez, reading this book made me thinking about whether what I’m having now is the Dip or Cul-de-Sac) after Mandy and Matthew were tucked in bed. I didn’t have my dinner yet because I thought about having it after my sister got home. She arrived at around a quarter to ten. Then we had our dinner while we’re talking and watching The American Idol.
She’s now working at UBS, a diversified global financial services company, with its main headquarters in Basel & Zürich, Switzerland. It is also one of the leading wealth management company. Their main competitors are, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Banc of America Securities LLC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch.
I asked what kind of training she went through. (I’m always curious on what kind of training companies provide for their biggest asset, the people.) She said it’s everything about preparing people to be a good private banker that’s always on top of the current financial dynamic. We talked about key economic indicators, CPI, Inflation, COLA, etc. Hmm… I just knew that we have Big Mac Index. *smile* (Big Mac Index: Burgernomics is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that a dollar should buy the same amount in all countries. Thus in the long run, the exchange rate between two countries should move towards the rate that equalises the prices of an identical basket of goods and services in each country. Our “basket” is a McDonald’s Big Mac, which is produced in about 120 countries. The Big Mac PPP is the exchange rate that would mean hamburgers cost the same in America as abroad. Comparing actual exchange rates with PPPs indicates whether a currency is under- or overvalued.) Follow The Economist coverage on Big Mac Index.
She said it’s a very tough training. There are five levels of trainings that the selected employees have to complete within three to five years. They have to pass each of the level before they can attend the higher level training. The trainers come from NUS. After this three-day training she will have a written test on Monday. And, the following Monday she’ll have an oral test. The oral test will be in a staged format – so, every incumbent will face a number of people that will act as Clients. They have to present their proposal, explain their analyses, argue, and defend their position. She said according to her colleague that already passed the oral test – this test is very tough and full of surprise. Well, isn’t financial world full of surprise itself? For example, the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US in 2006 that became a global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008.
UBS invests a lot in training their people – as they want the best people to provide financial analysis and handle their Clients’ wealth. In Singapore they bought the former President’s house and make it as their training center – a nice big house with a nice and lush surrounding plus excellent food. What a perfect place to have training! *smile* I agree that in this dynamic business world we need to keep our skills current.
Around half past eleven at night she went out to pick up her husband at the airport while I was ready to go to bed.