William Henley: In Love with Capital Market

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HE is relatively young, but his achievements in the financial business, especially the capital market, are unquestionable. He once led one of the biggest local security companies, PT Valbury Asia Securities, which had 25 branches in 19 cities. Since September, he has been a member of the Disciplinary Committee at the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX).  

Meet William Henley, 38, who became director of PT CIMB Securities Indonesia in October 2008. It is his love of the industry that helped him develop his career rapidly. “The most important thing is, we have to love our profession,” he said.  

He said that working in the capital market is a dynamic profession. Every day sees the development of a different issue, and he should anticipate the market condition, the condition of macro and micro economics and the movement of capital market instruments. “Every day is a new day,” he said. “This is a profession without monotony.”  

There are many aspects that affect the dynamics of the capital market, such as politics, fundamental economics, sentiment and industry performance. That makes the industry really interesting. “Market players should make those aspects an inseparable part of their routine,” he said.  

He acknowledges that in Indonesia, the capital market is still very young as seen from the number of publicly listed companies, which number only about 400 compared to an advanced country like the US with thousands of publicly listed companies. Besides, Indonesia has only one stock exchange. “America even has a stock market especially for technology firms, that is, the NASDAQ,” he said.  

However, according to William, Indonesia’s capital market has great potential. “In the future, we can move very far,” he said. The capital market in Indonesia has developed fast compared to five years ago as seen in daily transactions at JSX that reach an average of Rp 5 trillion, while five years ago it was Rp 300 billion.  

The fast development was also supported by a more stable economy and much better infrastructure. What’s more, the Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK) and JSX as regulators also give significant support.  

The two institutions, supported by bourse members, recently intensively educated would-be investors and familiarized them with the industry, not only in Jakarta but also in other cities. “There are many other things we can do; we are on the right track,” said the man who graduated from Monash University, majoring in banking and finance.  

He said that, among other things, limited education and familiarization hampered the development of the capital market in Indonesia. Lack of education and familiarization gives the impression that the industry is only for certain groups of people.  

In fact, according to the father of two, people from all walks of life could take part in the industry. “Actually, investment in the capital market does not need a lot of money. With Rp 250,000 you can play the capital market,” he said.  

CIMB works hard to increase its penetration in the capital market in Indonesia and aims to become a dominant player in the industry. One of the efforts is by opening new branches in various locations. William said that in the past year, CIMB had opened two new branches in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, and in Semarang, so that now CIMB operates in six locations (head office – JSX building, Blok M, Kelapa Gading, Bandung, Surabaya and Semarang). It has also just expanded the trading room in the head office. “Next year we will open new branches in different locations,” he said.  

He said that the physical existence of a branch is a significant aspect related to the company’s plan to become a dominant player. “It provides the public with easier access to the industry,” he said. He also gave attention to another aspect, that is, the service that gives additional value for investors and would-be investors.  

It includes information related to research on companies listed on the JSX. “Research is a dominant aspect,” he said, adding that good research could only be offered by security companies with adequate human resources.  

CIMB has to make the above efforts to illustrate its commitment to the development of the country’s capital market. William said that the initiatives should be taken so that CIMB could reach its target as a major player in the industry. It also keeps on familiarizing its employees with the company development program. “The program can only work with employees’ participation,” said William, who enjoys traveling.  

According to William, the company sees significant organizational growth – its human resources grow by 300 percent per year – which requires him to be smarter in managing them. “The additional branches and recruitment of new staff should not create extra work for the current staff,” he said.  

Under William’s leadership, CIMB has shown significant performance growth. Even though he was reluctant to give an exact figure, he said that in the past year, the condition of his division had improved. “Not only in terms of human resources, but also transactions, which increased significantly,” he said.  

According to William, the achievement was possible thanks to great teamwork within the company. He said his teams always developed and also played a role in CIMB’s success. William is sure that CIMB in the future will be able to play a bigger role in the capital market industry in the country. “We have adequate human resources. Our research division is also one of the best in the industry,” he said. (T. Hidayat)  

The Jakarta Post, November 25, 2009

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