Key success drivers

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

2016 is an excited and busy year for SSI Information Technology (IT) On one hand, SSI kept on maintaining the well-established technology environment ensuring smooth and fast solutions for the business operations. On the other hand, SSI spent most effort on rolling out solutions to enable the business for new challenges in the market.

 

IT Operations

With the strengthened system redundancy and the enforcement on Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), SSI minimized the technology incidents happened in the company with significant amount of deduction on time for incident recovery.

With the enforcement of our policy and procedures, SSI IT achieved in average 96% of over 12,000 service requests within the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The Company further enriched its Business Analyst team by adding more business analysts with solid experiences on securities trading industry. This team of experts significantly improves our turn-around time on handling new business requests increased our competence level in the market.

This enabled SSI putting most of our efforts on the implementation of new technology and new business solutions.

 

Stability & Availability

A stable environment for business operations is always our top of the line in technology operations. Therefore, SSI spent most of the time to improve and/or maintain the stability of its system environment.

In 2016, the Company improved its data center to Tier 3 industrial standard with proper redundancy on server and storage facilities, dual UPS, dual data path, redundant air conditioners (Data Center grade) and dual power generator. SSI kept on maintaining and ensuring the solution without any single point of failure, with proper capacity sufficient for all planned or unplanned situations required for the business operations.

SSI also enhanced the backup/restoration procedures and facilities ensured full data protection without any single bit of data lost.

Our Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is maintained to review quarterly. This year, SSI covered 5 more DRP scenarios by automated recovery with total 44 out of 48 scenarios. The solution for the remaining 4 scenarios has been planted in our new core systems going to roll out in early 2017. The Company also performed the yearly rehearsal of the DRP on November.

 

 

Information Security

Information Security is the other area that we put full attention. SSI is fully aware that a simple attack can damage the business dramatically. The Company also understood that security threat in technology world changing so fast. SSI has proper experts taking care all matters related to technology security.

We worked on technology security by 3 different categories, end-users devices, data center facilities, and external environment. We have proper protection in each of these categories such as anti-virus and Data Lost Protection for end-users; firewall, server level anti-virus, anti-spam on email facilities for data center protection; facility for cyber-attack prevention, and vulnerability scanning facility for the prevention and protection of external intruders and attack;

SSI also has policies and procedures on governing our technology operations running in proper secured manner.

Besides, the Company kept on refining, improving, and maintaining our security protection to cope with the latest development of security threat found in technology world.

 

Innovative

“Standing in advance to prepare the challenges” becomes the slogan of technical section of the Company.  

In 2016, SSI ran an intensive process to select solution to replace the trading core system for cash market and implementing a new trading solution for derivative market. Both selected vendors are well-known in the field. Their solutions are highly configurable to meet the Company’s business needs coping with the rapid and new challenges in securities trading industry. With these solutions, the Company is well equipped for the trading on stock, fund, index and bond future, covered warrant and other known derivatives instruments going to launch in Vietnam market.

Business Intelligent is maintained as one of the key technology improvement. In 2016, SSI did an in-depth analysis for what it need from this area. A road-map has been made. Information analysis has been done. In 2017, it will be implemented as planned.

On technology or process improvement, agile has been adapted in certain areas of technical section of the organization. SSI will further promote this methodology to the whole section or even to other departments.

In 2017, The Company will focus on the roll-out of 2 trading platforms as well as further automation on business automation. Solution for customer loyalty and retention is also our focus.

 

 

 

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

 

Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI) always believes that, by optimizing each employee’s morale, the Company can increase customer satisfaction and continually enhance shareholders’ value. SSI has implemented several measures in order to ensure that all members of the Company are satisfied with their jobs and self-motivated to continue further development along with the Company. Throughout over 17 years of development, SSI has built and continued to nourish the SSI Culture - a unique characteristic of SSI - promoting unity, collaborative spirit and innovation to overcome all difficulties and challenges.

 

Human resource development strategy

To develop a human resources that are well trained, highly qualified and able to adapt to the constantly changing environment of fierce competition. Every individual in the Company is fostered and provided with opportunities to try and develop their talent in a team spirit and close knit environment, sharing the same goal. In particular, developing a team of excellent experts in key areas and combining international knowledge with long experiences in Vietnam are emphasized. SSI has always striven to provide its team with a candid and open working environment, where talents are nurtured, innovations are encouraged, pride is passed on and company ownership is shared.

 

Selecting and nurturing talents

SSI always aims to foster motivation for employees from the first step of the recruitment process in order to promote long-term commitment of each member with the Company. Recruitment process is always strictly conducted to ensure transparency and fairness, bringing about equal opportunities for candidates and continuing to reaffirm to new members confidence and pride in the Company. We focus on recruiting suitable employees of all races, nationalities, gender and ages Opportunities are open to all candidates from all over Vietnam and other countries. SSI always welcomes active, enthusiastic and aspiring candidates who are ready to take on new opportunities and challenges at work and in the SSI business environment.

In 2016, SSI welcomed 206 new members throughout the system to strengthen its human resources as well as make replacement of resigned personnel to meet the Company’s development strategy, an increase of 15% compared with that of 2015.  In particular, new employees are mainly under 30 years of age who are well-trained with 90% having university qualification and 10% having post-graduate qualification. All of them are dynamic, enthusiastic and full of creativity.

Specifically:

 

 

In an environment of increasing competition, SSI has continued to develop highly interactive recruitment channels to improve the effectiveness of recruitment information communication as well as maximizing recruiting efficiency. Through these information channels, SSI wants to establish two-way and frequent communication with candidates during the recruitment process. Enhancing information exchange will also increase SSI’s brand awareness of human resources, helping to access better selection of qualified personnel for the Company. In 2016 SSI has developed professional recruitment channels via LinkedIn, proactively and effectively expanding its pool of candidates and increasing connectivity to meets human resource expansion demand of the Company. SSI will continue to utilize different media channels to promote SSI’s work opportunities and working environment.

Beside working with our staff, we position ourselves as a cradle to nurture and train young talents in the securities industry, offering them the opportunities to gain exposure to the professional working environment, assisting them to identify career path, and connecting them to SSI via SSI’s Internship and Apprentice Broker programs. The SSI Internship Program has been conducted in three consecutive years. The rigorous selection process and internship program offered fresh graduates with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of SSI’s environment, as well as helping SSI to select qualified candidates for full-time positions. The SSI Apprentice Program implemented in 2016 targets fresh graduates with a major in Economics/Finance/Banking, or candidates who are inexperienced yet have want to work in securities - brokerage sector. The program aims at developing young, enthusiastic and high-quality human resource who are willing to make long-term commitment with the Company. Under this program, candidates will be trained and guided from the most basic steps to become a broker at SSI through hands-on tasks and customized training sessions. By this approach, SSI wants to provide the candidates with an insight into the working environment of a securities company, and also contributes to SSI’s long-term sustainable human resource development.

SSI believes that its employees are the ones to have the highest commitment and the best understanding of the work; therefore, we offer internal recruitment opportunities. In other words, we reserve open and suitable positions for our employees to try and develop in a position that is best suited for their ability and the needs of the Company. Internal recruitment also follows professional and transparent procedures to ensure fairness in employment opportunities at SSI.

To maintain quality human resources and strong SSI’s culture, we always focus on creating a working environment in which every individual can explore and develop all potential capabilities to best contribute to the Company. We facilitate innovation, encourage new ways of thinking and doing, and are willing to offer opportunities for experiment and development for all SSI’s members. This is our approach to preserve and nurture a human resource of high standard and flexibility, meeting market demand not only domestically but also internationally.

 

Human resource development has made continuous progress in terms of professional knowledge and skills

In our field of operations, SSI always faces great challenges from competitors, macroeconomic volatility as well as changes in domestic and international financial markets. Recruiting right people is the key to SSI’s competitiveness. We focus on developing quality human resources to meet the increasingly strict requirements of the market. In addition to careful input selection, SSI encourages and creates the best conditions for all employees to develop comprehensively in terms of both professional qualifications and soft skills, appropriately to each job position and level via training courses under the Company’s Training Program:

 

 

SSI has developed a series of position-specific training and development programs for employees at all levels to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform their duties, as well as encourage them to continue to develop and embark on their career at SSI. The Company aims to become a “learning organization” where training activity is the right and responsibility of each individual in the company. In 2016, the Company has developed a detailed plans and allocated VND5 billion budget for formal and informal training through physical classes, distance learning, and on-the-job trainings.

At the beginning of employment, all SSI employees shall attend Orientation Training, and during employment term, on the job training is provided to ensure fulfillment of job requirements. With mechanism to encourage participation in professional training, as well as strict implementation of mandatory training regulated by the State Securities Commission, SSI constantly increases the percentage of employees having Securities License, and other professional certificates such as CFA, ACCA, etc.

In 2016, the Company has organized and co-organized many professional training courses and sent employees to participate in compulsory training for a total number of 18,000 training hours (professional training) and 13,586 compulsory training hours. Internal training courses for Professional Competence division throughout the system via in-house training sessions, seminars, and consultations receive positive feedback. Favorable policy for internal trainers to promote sharing of knowledge and experience in the organization continues to prove its effectiveness. Internal trainers gradually improve their training capacity and have organized useful and practical courses. With experienced and enthusiastic internal trainers that always pro-actively update their knowledge, the internal training program held consecutively over weekends has received support and exerted a positive impact on the staffs.

Following the Company’ training roadmap, more training programs on soft skills targeting at different groups, such as courses on Leadership, Presentation, or Sales skills, also help inspire, motivate and provide new tools for employees to boost their performance at work. These training courses provide fundamental knowledge and skills to provide employees with a positive and scientific perspective of their work in particular and life in general, and help them develop their communication and problem-solving skills. In addition, these training programs are great team building opportunities where employees can share their working experience and understand their colleagues better.

Professional training courses receive much interest not only from business units, but also from governance units and support units. Training courses on Corporate Governance, Project Management (PMP), Advanced Accounting; Corporate Finance Analysis, Marketing courses, Advanced Human Resource Management organized by professional and reputable training partners have contributed to improve overall performance of the Company.

SSI believes that its employees should have a solid understanding of core values ​​and adhere to the ethical rules of the organization, so that SSI can continue to develop sustainably, overcome challenges and mitigate risks. Therefore, every year, SSI organizes periodic training on Code of Conducts chaired by the Legal & Internal Control with the participation of all employees. At these training sessions, employees not only are informed of and updated with information but also can share and discuss actual cases encountered in order to minimize potential risks for each individual and the Company.

Besides conventional training methods, SSI also employs innovative internal training models such as Gala 2015, year-end parties of departments, business luncheon and some other internal activities to facilitate information updates, promoting corporate culture and bridge the management with the staff and among staff in the pursuit of common goals namely a more prosperous company, better working environment and personal and organizational development.

All these factors, ranging from professional competence, soft skills, code of conduct to corporate culture altogether shall be incorporated in staff’s thinking and behavior. This also constitutes SSI’s human resource brand, which is dynamic, competent, aspiring and compliant. SSI values continuous human resource development and upholds our human resource brand towards greater professionalism.

 

 

 

Develop talents and nurture the next generation of leaders

In 2016, the number of middle managers (Heads of department or higher) of the Company is 123/720, accounting for 17% of the total number of SSI staff. In order to develop human resources ready for key positions when needed, leaders pay close attention to seeking and developing next generation managers through human resource planning, job placement and management skills training.

In 2016, the Company has appointed 44 new middle or higher managers; newly appointed employees are provided with training courses to supplement skills, knowledge and tools for the work, including leadership skills, corporate governance skills, business strategy development and professional updates... At the same time, direct support and on-the-job training are conducted regularly to facilitate newly appointed employees accomplished the assigned tasks and continue to develop.

 

Fair performance evaluation system and merit-based income policy

SSI continues to develop a Performance Management System (PMS) to ensure equity and accessibility to employees at all positions. The evaluation system was developed to improve accuracy of the evaluation and ranking of employees based on actual annual performance, which is directly linked to personal rewards; and more importantly, each employee are developed an orientation for improvement and development of professional knowledge and skills through the establishment of goals for the review period. The online performance evaluation process allows for interaction and two-way exchange between evaluators and evaluatees, enabling employees’ clear understanding of management expectations, as well as managers to know key aspects in staffs’ work. This factor enhances job management skills, team management, and time and goal management for each individual, and also improves the efficiency of the whole organization. With a comprehensive and interactive assessment system, the Company also aims to motivate and encourage employees, both newly recruited, senior staffs and management levels, to measure personal performance effectiveness and continue striving to conquer the next level of career goals.

 

Maintaining growth and economic stability of SSI helps ensure employees’ vested interests through a market competitive compensation and benefit policy, reaffirming staff confidence and attachment to the Company, contributing to the goal of corporate sustainable development.

Inheriting human resource management philosophy over the past years, SSI has maintained and developed the 3 Ps income model (Position, Person and Performance) in order to link income to contribution and work performance of each individual as well as ensure internal fairness, market competitiveness and employees’ motivation. For 6 successive years from 2010 to 2016, SSI continues to participate in Vietnam’s most prestigious Salary Survey conducted by Mercer, and connect and communicate regularly with renown consultants to receive proposals and policies to optimize HR efficiency. Based on the wage survey results of the whole market and non-bank financial sector in particular, during the year, the Company has made adjustments to the salary bracket to increase competitiveness in the market. The company continues to provide supplemental health and accident insurance so that employees feel secured, sharing financial burdens in cases where employees experience health care risks.

In addition to insurance benefits under the normal policy of the Company, in 2015 and 2016, SSI as a team also shared financial burdens with 4 employees suffering from chronic diseases. When employees are faced with hardship, the Board of Management also joins hands with the contributions from other members of the Company to share the cost burden and facilitate the treatment process.

In 2016, SSI has successfully issued 10 million shares under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which aims to align the interests of employees and the Company’s; attract, retain and motivate talents to engage with the company for a long-term horizon through: (i) generate other benefits for the employees apart from salaries and bonuses, (ii) Attach employees’ efficiency with interests and the development of the whole company, and (iii) share the benefits when the company achieves success in the future. In addition, the Program also raised additional working capital for the Company.

Furthermore, the overall benefit scheme of the Company also considers allowances such as per diem; gas allowance; telephone allowance, etc. to provide maximal support for staffs to fulfill their tasks. Additionally, during annual holidays, the Company always has appropriate welfare programs to celebrate and encourage employees, contributing to improve employee satisfaction and team spirit.

In 2016, SSI has spent approximately VND 260 billion on salaries, insurance premiums and other benefits, performance-based bonuses following year-end performance review; of which performance bonuses accounted for a relatively large proportion, reflecting a rational merit-based remuneration mechanism.

 

 

The Company continued to pay keen attention to the staff’s health. In addition to raising awareness of health care and disease updates for employees, internal activities also aim to build a healthy lifestyle to protect and enhance the health of employees and their families. On a quarterly basis, the Company held counseling programs with the participation of experts and doctors to enhance health care knowledge for employees. Health care newsletters are also prepared by experts and circulated in a timely manner to give alerts on seasonal disease outbreak and precautions while taking medicine to help employees maintain good health of themselves and family. Once every quarter and on a turn-taking basis, the Company held a health care seminar in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with highly current topics such as cancer; emergency first-aid; liver diseases and how to avoid them; how to select food and maintain a healthy diet in the family, etc.

Sports and physical fitness activities are encouraged and facilitated by the Board of Management via financing and organization of clubs like yoga, rumba, soccer and table tennis tournaments among the company and with other companies, etc. The activities are well organized and help employees stay well, refresh and feel a stronger sense of bonding the team.

The Company has collaborated with clean food suppliers to provide employees with a safe and quality source of food supply such as Ban Mai rice, Ba Vi clean vegetables and Hadico, and more, ensuring adequate nutrition and health for employees. This model, which has been very received and trusted by staffs, will continue to grow stronger in the coming years.

Regular checkups are conducted by reliable and renowned health care facilities to monitor employees’ health and detect any problem for early intervention. Health-related information is stored through years and used as input for additional health insurance schemes for employees.

 

 

Towards Work - Life Balance

In 2016, SSI continued the Great Workplace campaign whereby SSI Leadership continued to pay due attention to creating a balance between work and life of employees at all levels. SSI facilitates and encourages members to innovate work approach to ensure work-life balance. The Company continued to implement policies to encourage employees to take leaves for energy renewal after periods of intensive work, which is also a chance to test alternative staffing mechanism in each department. In terms of management system, we are make strong improvement efforts to reduce overtime hours to allow employees have more time for family and still achieve targeted results.

The Company also tries to create working environments and fair development opportunities between male and female staffs. SSI still maintains a gender balance between male and female employees. With female employees, the Company always complies with all regulations on female labors and creates favorable conditions for female employees returning to work post maternity. Understanding and sharing family responsibilities with employees, SSI believes that only when an employee rests assured of his/her family, the desirable performance can be achieved. Job sharing and backup personnel in cases of employees on sick leave, maternity, caring for sick family members are positively engaged by both leaders and employees.

SSI’s Family day has become a well-expected annual event for all members, where families can have fun and connect. Such events have enhanced family bonds as well as the connection between staff’s families and the Company. Through the event, each “extended” member of SSI somewhat becomes more understanding, sharing, and proud of SSI, and more willing to continue their “support role” for each SSI’s employee.

SSI staff activities such as 2 regional soccer teams, photography club, yoga or zumba clubs are encouraged by the Board of Management and welcomed by the majority of employees. With these activities, each member of SSI can pursue their personal preferences to relax after stressful working hours. Internal events such as the annual Gala where talents, forte and collective strength of SSI are showcased, provides an opportunity to bring more laughter and joys for the entire staff.

2016 is also the 2nd year SSI participated in the “Happiness at Work” survey organized by Anphabe. The results of the survey can serve as an input for SSI’s Management to take employees’ comments into account in improving the company as a long-term workplace and enhance its competitiveness in the industry.

In addition, the Board of Management also value employees’ work-life balance as evidenced by policies such as: The employees are entitled to 2 more days of sick leaves in the year, staff birthday gifts and occasions such as International Women's 8/3, the Vietnam Women's Day 20/10, Autumn Gifts Program and Children's Festival for children Kids staff, etc. Style gifts are frequently changed, updated in line with the needs and tastes of our employees, bringing joy, pride and more binding for every member of SSI.

We aim toward sustainable development for both individuals and the entire Company. And to achieve such sustainability, SSI commits its best efforts for the creation of a work-life balanced environment in many ways and will continue to study and develop policies and activities to achieve this balance.

 

CORPORATE CULTURE

 

During 16 years of development, besides achievements as recorded in numerous reports, statistics and awards, SSI’s unique corporate culture represents one of the biggest prides of the company and the core value in the company’s formation and development. It is these cultural distinctions of SSI that attract talents, inspire sense of pride and resilience to help the company overcome all difficulties and challenges, contributing to a strong “SSI Big Family” as today. SSI’s unique culture is demonstrated not only in the 9 business principles, but also in the consistent communication, key personnel solidarity and shared vision of each individual within SSI.

 

SSI’s 9 business principles have consistently been exerted in every activity of the Company and a declaration of its identity and band

 

SSI people always keep these 9 business principles, which are also core values of the Company and guiding principles of all SSI employees and activities.

 

 

These principles are the basis on which SSI design our business operations and create sustainable values. Recognizing core values as the most important elements ​​in a business, SSI’s 9 principles are reiterated in the media, events and internal training, and to every SSI member.

SSI’s business principles are always placed in the most visible and accessible locations in SSI offices. This is a heritage and motivation for each employee to uphold SSI values.

 

Consistent internal communication is the key success factor in SSI’s corporate culture

 

As the company expands, consistent and seamless internal communication is crucial to all activities. Therefore, SSI has paid due attention to establishing and frequently improving internal communication channels so that it is complete, accessible and connecting all members.

Internal communication is a common voice across the entire company which effectively communicates the leadership’s messages to the members and vice versa and is crucial to the internal unity.

Given the importance of internal communication, any information from the leadership, events and activities of the company are communicated thoroughly to each SSI member. Internal newsletters, activities and events of SSI are sent to each employee twice / month in a well-presented manner. In this way, every individual truly becomes an integral part of the company, sharing the same vision, social activities and internal activities for a better connected team.

Realizing the employees’ sharing needs, SSI even went extra miles by establishing SSI Insider Forum - a place for members to share not only information, events but also their own experience at work and in life, joys and laughter, and sadness. Against the backdrop of technological advancement and social network prominence, SSI’s internal communication channels are also improved to responds to emerging needs and trends and deliver information to each SSI member more effectively.

In particular, interactive information sharing within SSI is increasingly advanced and effective. SSI’s Management always wants to stay abreast of business situation and new policies to actively and promptly update the employees accordingly, ensuring consistent and precise communication. Moreover, employees’ feedback on workplace environment is highly valued by the Board of Management. Through workplace surveys, e-mailing campaigns, online voting or direct comments on internal communication channels, employees at all levels can express their views and expectations to help SSI improve and develop more sustainably.

In addition, SSI’s awards, achievements and charity/sponsoring activities are frequently updated in the media to uphold pride among SSI people.

 

Nurture and promote SSI’s unique culture

SSI people are not only talents in the financial world with professionalism and expertise but also the people who know to work hard and play hard - a culture highly valued within the company.

 

GALA - Annual Meeting of SSI is held each financial year-end (April) to gather SSI members from all over the country to meet, interact and participate in team building and honoring activities. This is the chance for all SSI staff to relax and have a great time with team building activities. On this occasion, people can look back and reflect on the past year(s), their highs and lows, thereby gaining momentum to aim towards next year’s goals.

In particular, the award “Employee of the Year” honors SSI individuals who have been and will continue to have the significant contributions to the development of the whole company. The honor helps to highlight SSI’s core values and encourage further efforts of each SSI member.

In 2016, SSI staff had many after-work activities to help relieve stress after work and enhance team spirit. Clubs like soccer, yoga, zumba, photography, etc. are maintained on an ongoing basis. Besides, SSI people also enthusiastically participate in friendly football, table tennis, tennis etc. tournaments and performance activities with Government Agencies, Securities Companies, Banks and made high achievements. In addition, SSI people also enthusiastic participate in activities dedicated to team building and challenge overcoming.

SSI went regularly organizes contests and programs in celebration of major holidays such as International Women’s Day 8/3, International Children’s Day 1/6, and especially SSI Family Day - a big year-end program pay tribute too SSI people trying their best over the past year and gratitude to their families. These activities are usually expanded to include family members and accompanied by welfare policies to improve living quality of each employee so that SSI will truly be a “Big Family” of smaller nuclear families where they can meet and interact with one another.

 

Combination of unique personalities, innovation, professionalism and specific expertise in each SSI individual altogether has made SSI’s unity and harmonization

 

SSI people always strive to learn and improve knowledge, taking initiative at work for better performance. However, it takes more than a single talent to build a sustainable business. For this reason, SSI always uphold the unity across the entire company, team spirit, and team work, which are shown in the 9 business principles, internal communication and other activities.

Each individual is an indispensable chain which makes SSI “system” operate in a seamless and efficient manner. SSI members are complementary to each other and work closely together in sharing ideas, discussing, seeking initiatives, solutions and how to achieve the best results.

SSI perceives that a sustainable business must focus on internal resources, emphasizing personal development without overlooking harmonization so that every individual can maximize their strengths, minimize weaknesses and devote to the company’s mission and vision. Professional, enthusiastic staff who always strive to become an active factor in the company’s development is the greatest pride of SSI.