Tips from a ‘matchmaker’ for the newly affluent in search of a wealth manager

Online matchmaking services are aplenty these days especially with the help of modern technology. The abundance of dating apps and websites makes scoring a date seem like a breeze. In a world ruled by technology, here comes yet another online matchmaking service – one that pairs you with a wealth manager.

FindaWEALTHMANAGER.com dubs itself as a matchmaking service that brings together high net worth individuals and wealth managers that suit their needs. The site was launched in Britain back in 2012 and found its way to Singapore last month.

CEO and co-founder of findaWEALTHMANAGER.com Mr Dominic Gamble told AsiaOne in an email interview that the relocation of the company base from Britain to Singapore was a “logical choice” because of how the latter is “predicted to be the largest” global wealth management hub in the next decade. He also credits Singapore’s legal system and local investors for the move.

“The support lent by the Government has gone a long way to helping young businesses through the early stages and that is paying big dividends.”

Through the site’s proprietary matching algorithms, it has already helped well over 1,000 affluent investors find their best-matched providers in the UK, Mr Gamble added.

Automated advisory platforms, also known as ‘robo-advisers’, such as findaWEALTHMANAGER.com have already been made popular in the United States (US) as well as the United Kingdom (UK).

Despite its availability, Mr Gamble said technology is a “clear challenge” for the wealth management industry because it is not solely about speed and expertise when it comes to technological enhancement but the “sheer cost of the investment in technology”.

He went on to say that larger players may invest and develop their technology internally whereas smaller wealth managers will have to go through other options such as franchising, which thus poses great opportunities for the start-up community.

Mr Gamble added: “It’s quite unique to be in a community which is so vibrant with young entrepreneurs and for us within the ‘fintech’ space, it’s especially vibrant.”

A Bloomberg article published in June this year referred to a study done by The Boston Consulting Group that showed how Singapore had the highest concentration of millionaires in Southeast Asia in 2014.

Mr Gamble acknowledges this and said the “strength and robustness” of Singapore’s wealth management industry is something to be “proud of and used”.

Singapore’s wealth managers have become even more steadfast and are keeping up with times by introducing new products and services for their clients, including services that are more than just financial-related. It is therefore safe to say that wealth managers in Singapore are in for the long run.

While findaWEALTHMANAGER.com does not provide investment advice, Mr Gamble does offer a few tips for the newly affluent that are looking for a wealth manager or are using robo-advisers for the first time:

1. Meet 3 wealth managers for comparison purposes

“Finding a good wealth manager IS easy now and making sure that your investments are not over-exposed, over-risked, well-structured for your lifestage and family, is critical and not to be taken lightly.”

2. Ask the right questions

“Don’t be impressed only by branding, don’t only concentrate on fees – important as they are, there is much more to the long-term prosperity of a relationship (between a high net worth individual and a wealth manager)”

3. Understand the culture and the typical clientele of the financial institution or firm you picked – are they similar to you?

“(Taking care of your finances) yourself comes with caution – don’t gamble your personal wealth, have professional expertise by your side.”

4. Ask the institution you selected about what they think you should do

“Receiving holistic advice from an institution that is experienced in the wealth challenges and opportunities of clients like you is valuable.”

Face-to-face contact still means a great deal to clients today, said Mr Gamble. He believes that while this “will not change any time soon,” online platforms like findaWEALTHMANAGER.com are the initial source for clients who want an independent filter when choosing the best wealth managers for them.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 EN

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