Arnold Yeung, Chairman & CEO, AMG Financial Group
Amid increasing market volatility, it is critical that IFAs understand client needs in order to help them achieve their long-term objectives. An ability to focus on the unique circumstances of each individual client has always been a hallmark of AMG FINANCIAL GROUP, helping the firm to be a deserved winner of the 2016 IFA of the Year award. As well as its commitment to providing informed advice about the latest products on offer, AMG has demonstrated an ability to innovate by adopting new technology to help take client service to new levels.
“We offer a wide range of wealth management products to our clients based on their financial needs. It is our mission to invest and to develop, on an ongoing basis, a comprehensive and leading platform that can offer our clients cost-efficient wealth management solutions,” said Arnold Yeung, Chairman and CEO of AMG FINANCIAL GROUP.
AMG’s platform carries wealth management products offered by numerous world-renowned financial product providers. The firm offers a comprehensive range of financial services that includes market research, financial advisory services, retirement planning and risk management.
“Our key objective is to help our clients achieve their financial goals at different life stages. As each client has their own requirements and constraints, a dedicated advisor works with them to provide tailor-made solutions. In addition, we have incorporated a Customer Value Management system to help our clients find the right match of wealth management solutions and products. There is no such thing as the ‘best’ product on the market – each has their own unique features and benefits. It’s our job to explain the advantages of each recommended product to help clients make informed decisions,” said Yeung.
Utilizing technology to connect with clients
In order to help clients look beyond current events and invest for the longer term, AMG’s focus remains on client education. AMG’s advisors meet with clients on a regular basis in order to understand their real-world goals, such as saving for a child’s education, achieving a steady income stream in retirement or achieving a specific financial goal over a medium- to long-term investment horizon. Regular updates are also key to helping clients understand changing investment environment, with technology now playing a key role in AMG’s communication strategy.
“Our client support team provides a market update every month. This includes other information which we think will be of interest to the client, such as educational pieces on recent market events. We also try to use technology to keep clients informed. In some ways, communicating by email is now old-school technology. More and more clients prefer to receive information on their phones. We find that clients are responding very well to this approach, as they may not have the time to check emails very often – but they are constantly checking their phones,” said Yeung.
According to Yeung, AMG’s clients are happy with this new level of interaction and AMG has found technology increasingly useful for time sensitive information such as market updates. New technology also means AMG is able to gain customer feedback far more quickly.
A regular review process
In order to understand client needs, AMG advocates a regular review of investment goals, especially given the ever-changing global environment. “We cannot assume that our clients needs and wants never change. We need to understand their current situation in order to make the right recommendations, delivering the best possible solutions and value,” said Yeung.
In addition to the monthly market commentary, advisors are required to hold a financial planning review with their clients at least once a year. During this meeting, the advisor provides an update on the portfolio and the effectiveness of their current strategy to clients. As best practice, client-needs analysis and risk profiling are also conducted at the review meeting to cater to the change in requirements throughout the different life stages of the client.
“Education is the key thing we focus on, and we always ask our clients what their investment objectives are. For example, if the objective is to build an education fund for their children then their investment term is around 10 to 15 years staring from when the child is born. So we will work with clients to develop a plan on how to achieve that goal,” said Yeung.
In for the long-haul
This regular review of investment goals is becoming increasingly important in an ever-changing environment. And while other competitors may have reduced their presence in or, indeed, exited the market altogether, AMG remains committed.
“A lot of market participants have decided to scale down or even exit the market. We have been present for 18 years, and I think the most important thing in this industry is commitment to clients. When investing with us, they need to be comfortable that we’ll still be around in the next 10, 20, 30 years... we certainly intend to be,” added Yeung.
With this long-term focus in mind, AMG’s management has made the decision to expand and invest in the company. The firm has added more resources into back-office sales support and is partnering with technology companies to develop new applications to enable clients to source information quicker than ever before.
“The investments we are making in our systems are all designed to deliver an even better client experience. I really do not believe there are many IFAs in Hong Kong that are more committed than us to the core values of the industry and clients. It’s much harder to run a professional IFA than compared to five years ago, as we are facing an increasingly uncertain market and regulatory environment. Nevertheless, we will do our best to serve our clients and help them to achieve their financial goal,” added Yeung.
With so many new regulations coming into the market, IFAs are also required to invest more resources into their compliance teams. “The thing is that a lot of companies are not willing to do this, especially the small to medium-sized IFAs. It’s not that they don't want to invest, rather they cannot because of the scale.
Keeping in touch with industry developments
Looking ahead to 2017, Yeung outlined several priorities for AMG, including expanding its professional sales force and providing them with ongoing training and education to further assist clients in making good decisions. AMG advisors attend training at least twice a week in order to keep fully abreast of market developments, new products and regulations.
“Our role as an advisor is not only to educate, but also to help clients to take action when their existing financial plans are not fully meeting their needs. Accordingly, we make a concerted effort to educate our advisers in different areas of financial planning, including but not limited to medical insurance, investment planning and MPF (Hong Kong Mandatory Provident Fund) consolidation. Many clients have four or five different MPF accounts with different providers, which may not be the best approach. Hence, we will work with clients and educate them on how to consolidate their MPF and gain a clearer picture of their assets,” said Yeung.
面對市場的波濤起伏，財務策劃顧問必須 透徹了解客戶的真正需要，以協助他們 達成長遠目標。安柏一直致力滿足每一位 客戶的獨特需要，優質的服務為公司赢得 2016年年度獨立理財中介大獎。安柏除了 為客戶提供最新產品資訊外， 積極利用 創新科技提升客戶服務。
安柏環球金融集團主席兼行政總裁楊學超 表 示 ： 「 我 們 會 根 據 客 戶 的 不 同 財 務 需要，提供一系列財富管理產品。我們以 持 續 投 資 及 發 展 一 個 全 面 及 領 先 的 平台為使命，為客戶提供具成本效益的
安柏現時提供的財富管理產品， 由多間 世 界 知 名 的 金 融 理 財 產 品 供 應 商 所 提 供。公司提供之綜合理財服務涵蓋市場研 究、理財顧問服務、以至退休策劃及風險 管理等。
楊學超指出：「我們的宗旨是協助客戶 在不同人生階段達成其理財目標。每一位 客戶都會有其獨特的需求及限制；而我們 的 理 財 顧 問 會 為 他 們 度 身 訂 做 最 佳 的 理財方案。此外，我們亦建立了一套客戶 服務管理系統，為客戶找出合適的理財方 案 及 產 品 。 因 為 市 場 上 並 沒 有 所 謂『最佳』產品，每一個產品都有其特色 和優勢；所以我們的責任就是要向客戶闡 釋每種合適產品的優越之處，提供充份 資訊，協助他們作出選擇。」
為了令客戶明白放遠目光和為未來投資的 重要性，安柏十分重視客戶教育。安柏的 理財顧問定期會晤客戶以了解他們的實際 目標，例如子女教育儲備、在退休後維持 穩定收入、或要達到某一個中長期理財目 標等。協助客戶了解市況亦同樣重要，以 協助他們明白恆常變化的投資環境；而科 技應用在安柏的全盤傳訊策略中，更擔當 著重要的角色。
楊學超說：「我們的客戶支援團隊每月會 提供市場資訊，當中包括我們認為客戶會 感興趣的各類資訊，例如經濟分析資訊。我們也重視利用科技與客戶保持連繫。現 時，通過電郵溝通已愈趨落伍；愈來愈多 客戶喜歡在手機接收資訊。我們發現客戶 對這個方式反應極佳，因為他們未必會經 常查閱電郵，但卻會經常查閱手機。」
他強調，安柏的客戶喜歡較互動的聯繫， 而安柏亦認識到如何善用科技來發放市場 快訊等即時資訊。新科技讓安柏可更快知 悉客戶的回應。
安柏為了更深入理解客戶需要，加上全球 環 境 變 幻 莫 測 ， 故 主 張 定 期 檢 視 理 財 目標。楊學超說：「我們不能假設客戶的 需求和興趣永遠不變，我們需要全面了解 他們當下的情況，提供更佳的方案及價 值。」
除每月市況評論外， 顧問亦需按年與客戶 回顧全盤理財計劃。在這次會面中，顧問 需 要 向 客 戶 匯 報 財 富 管 理 組 合 的 最 新 情況，以及目前之策略是否有效。另外，這 次 會 面 亦 是 為 客 戶 分 析 個 人 需 求 及
進 行 風 險 評 估 的 良 機 ， 以 回 應 客 戶 在 不同人生階段的需求轉變。
楊學超又強調：「我們非常重視教f育，亦 會經常了解客戶的理財目標。例如客戶希 望為子女設立教育基金，而他們的投資期 間是子女出生起之十至十五 內。我們便 會與客戶合作，訂立計劃以取得成果。」
市場環境天天在變，故經常檢視理財目標 更顯重要。當其他市場競爭者可能已不再 發 展 ， 甚 至 退 出 市 場 時 ， 安 柏 對 香 港 財富管理市場及客戶的承諾始終如一。
楊學超表示：「不少同業不是減少規模， 就 是 已 退 出 市 場 ， 但 我 們 在 市 場 上 已 屹立了十八年。我認為對這個行業來說，最重要的是努力為客戶著想。當他們選擇 使用我們的服務時，他們需要知道我們會 繼續在未來 年、二十年、三十年繼續與 他們同行，而這亦是我們的所想。」
安柏的管理層為實踐長遠承諾，決意擴充 公司業務並加大投資。為此，公司大力增 撥資源並加強後勤部門對專業理財顧問團 隊的支援。另外，公司亦夥拍國際科技公 司，為客戶設計能更快捷接收資訊的應 用程式。
楊學超強調：「我們加強投資，是要更 進 一 步 改 善 客 戶 的 體 驗 。 我 深 信 在 香 港，我們是其中一間最恪守行業及客戶 核心價值的財務策劃顧問機構。今天我 們要面對更多市場波濤，及嚴格的監管環 境，要營運一盤財富管理業務，艱難度 比五年前大得多。雖則如此，我們始終竭 誠為客戶服務，盡力協助他們達成理財目 標，為將來做好準備。」
由於新監管規例陸續有來，理財中介也 需增撥資源到其規管部門。他指出：「部 分中小型機構公司並不積極投資於這些 地方。並非他們不想投資，而是未達到 相應的業務規模，在成本上壓力較大。」
放眼2017年，楊學超為公司定下多個重要 目標，包括大力擴充其專業顧問團隊， 並為他們提供持續培訓，以協助客戶充份 掌握資訊並作出合適的決定。安柏的顧問 團隊更需要每週參與培訓兩次，從而掌握 最 新 的 市 場 走 勢 、 產 品 發 展 以 及 監 管 法規。
楊 學 超指出：「顧問的角色不只是教育 客戶，更 應 協 助 客 戶 在 現 有 的 理 財 計 劃 未 如 理想時及時作出反應。我們為此 會全面培訓顧問團隊認識財務策劃的不同 範疇，由醫療保險、投資計劃以至整合強 積金戶口等等。不少客戶可能會擁有四 至五個不同的強積金戶口，這對他們來 說可能並非最佳安排。因此，我們會協 助客戶整合強積金戶口，令他們對自己 的資產狀況有更清晰的了解。」