Wealth management industry has untapped potential, panel told

The wealth management industry in Malaysia offers abounding opportunities if its untapped potential is harnessed to the maximum, industry experts said.

By Kazi Mahmood

The wealth management industry in Malaysia offers abounding opportunities if its untapped potential is harnessed to the maximum, industry experts said.

“Wealth management is still at a nascent stage in Malaysia, but it presents great opportunities for high networth investors,” Maybank Group chief strategy and transformation officer Micheal Foong said yesterday in Kuala Lumpur during a panel discussion at the Labuan International Financial Centre (Labuan IFC) Wealth Management Forum 2013.

He said the industry has the opportunity to shape a slightly different order of wealth management but the industry is bogged down by the lack of investor relations, which should improve, adding that there are opportunities to create a different wealth management ecosystem in Malaysia.

Industry players also believe the industry needs liberalisation of regulations, more talent and information dissemination in order to tap into the immense wealth potential in the country.

Malaysia’s high networth individuals will more than double in 2015, rising from its current 32,000 to 68,000, with their net worth increasing from RM445.13 billion to more than RM1,000,000,000,000, the Ministry of Finance said in February this year.

Funds under management in Malaysia posted a significant expansion in 2012, with assets under management valued at RM505.1 billion, while net asset value of the unit trust industry rose to RM294.9 billion.

Nevertheless, one of the hurdles hindering the local wealth management industry is the regulatory process. “Regulations may be hindering the progress of the industry.

Clients are heading for Hong Kong and Singapore to seek higher investment opportunities,” MyFP Services Sdn Bhd MD Robert Foo Jee Yee said.

Regulations might provide some help in changing the mindset of the Malaysian public especially with greater disclosure in fees and charges.

There must be efforts to raise the qualifications of people selling wealth management products altogether, said Blueprint Planning Sdn Bhd EC Raju K Ramasamy who added that people are getting more aware of wealth management and of the opportunities in the industry.

“We build our brands from scratch, we do not carry existing brands and its challenging. But we are financial planners and it is a massive thing that we can produce at least 4 licenses that allows us to practice,” he said, while explaining the challenges and the need for certified and qualified wealth managers.

This content is provided by FMT content provider The Malaysian Reserve

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Friday, June 28th, 2013 EN

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