“How many two hours do you have to spend with the client in order to close a deal?”
“Why are you going through client’s insurances for them when your job is to get them to buy our products?”
“You shouldn’t waste your time sharing about financial planning to the client when you know that he/she won’t buy our products.”
These are what my ex-manager and ex-colleagues told me while I worked as a Financial Adviser at the bank. I knew some of them had good intentions and were concerned about me not meeting my monthly KPI, but I knew what I did was right for my clients. I recall feeling unmotivated when my ex-manager told me how much money I could make selling high-commission products and how many I needed to sell in a month to reach my KPI. “What about our clients’ finances?”, was what went through my mind. I would not let any of my clients buy into products which do not benefit them even if those products can earn me a high commission. At that point in time, I knew very well that I did not belong to the banking industry by giving such “financial advice”. And by knowing what I do not want to do, it led me to what I want to do.
How My Journey in Providend Started
“You might want to watch this, I think you’ll relate to him,” my partner said as he showed me a YouTube video of an interview with Providend’s CEO, Mr Christopher Tan, conducted by The Royal Singapore. The caption reads, “The reason why I left the insurance industry”.
After watching the video, I was so inspired by how Providend stood their ground and revolutionised the wealth advisory space. It is the first and only fee-only wealth advisory firm in not just Singapore, but the entire Southeast Asia. Hence, I wrote in to express my interest in joining Providend. That is how my journey as a proud Associate Adviser in Providend began.
Acting in Our Clients’ Best Interest
At Providend, we spend many hours with our clients, to understand their needs and help them make their life decisions before making their financial decisions. This is one of the biggest distinction from my past experience as a Financial Adviser in the bank.
We focus a lot of time in helping our clients to remain calm during volatile times and stay committed to their wealth plan. Especially when there are unexpected changes in their life, we are there to help them navigate their way through.
I remember there was a client who had been with us since the beginning and decided to redeem a huge sum which she had accumulated through us so that she could retire overseas. Rather than thinking that we had lost a client, we were genuinely happy for her that she is able to live her dream retirement. It feels great to work with a group of people who believe in what we do and always act in the best interests of our clients here at Providend.
The Providend Culture
Another key difference between working in the bank and Providend, (which is something I treasure the most) is our Providend culture. There is no hierarchy across departments, we recognise everyone’s effort regardless which department you are from and what you do. Due to the fact that we are all salaried and non-commission taking, there is no competition amongst ourselves. We help each other to grow, we encourage, and be there for anyone who needs a listening ear.
Just a few weeks ago, we went to Sydney for our annual retreat. Over dinner, Chris, our CEO, mentioned how surreal it is that we can send everyone (including our beloved tea lady!) to Sydney for our annual retreat, it seemed like a dream came true.
Today, I have been with Providend for a year and a half, and I am so glad I wrote that email to Providend. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of the Providend family, a place I call my second home.
This is an original article written by Joyce Chng, Associate Adviser at Providend, Singapore’s First Fee-Only Wealth Advisory Firm.
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