The 3rd APFinSA Awards ceremony, which recognises the top financial professionals in the Asia Pacific, was held in Singapore last night (23 May 2022) with over 300 attendees.
Guest-of-Honour Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry, shared the important role of financial services professionals in helping to prepare, protect and promote.
From the frying pan, into the fire
Mr Tan said that the world is fast returning to normalcy, and the COVID pandemic is waning. He cited the positive developments of coming together and removing masks when eating and drinking at the awards ceremony. In addition, the participation of attendees from overseas, with the borders generally open for most parts of the world, is a good sign.
“But no sooner have we jumped out of the frying pan, we’re now into the fire,” said Mr Tan, referring to the high inflationary environment.
Inflation is about 3.3% in Singapore, 8% in the US and 7% in Europe, the highest inflationary rates in 10 years, with contributing factors such as the Ukraine-Russia war, supply chain issues and countries closing up by restricting exports.
Why are financial practitioners important?
What can financial services professionals do, and why are financial practitioners critical in such an environment?
There are three things that financial practitioners do very well, Mr Alvin Tan said.
“Prepare our people to understand personal finance and build up their financial literacy.”
Financial services professionals help to prepare their clients; to help them plan their financial wellness. Especially for the younger ones. “In any environment, we need to prepare our young early.”
How do you use your finances? Where do you invest? How do you balance your needs and wants?
“Protect families for life’s exigencies and shocks. When loved ones fall ill or pass away unexpectedly. Or when they need assistance traveling during the pandemic.”
The second thing many financial practitioners have done remarkably well is to protect their clients. He shared that he had lost friends and friends’ parents just over the past month, including a friend who left behind five sons. “And because of insurance, because of protection that you offer, their families can continue,” he said.
“Promote the understanding of government policies that help our people deal with cost of living, insurance and personal finance.”
“And there’s never a better group of people than in this room to help us attend to it,” he said.
He cited the example of GST increase and the need to do so even though it’s politically challenging. Because healthcare costs are rising, and these are recurring expenditures, there is a need for recurring income to balance it out. While Singapore’s fiscal position is strong, there is a need to plan ahead, he said.
Nobody buys insurance; they buy solutions
Mr Matthew Kang, APFinSA Chairman, said, “We are here to recognise and celebrate you, our fellow practitioners, from all over Asia. Your role as a financial consultant is, more often than not, understated.”
“Nobody buys insurance; they buy solutions,” he said. “They buy only if they know they have a problem. And they won’t know they have a problem unless they have a financial health check.”
Mr Kang said: “You, as a financial consultant, is the one who carefully evaluates the financial situation of your client via a thorough fact-finding and needs-based analysis before giving advice to help improve your client’s financial well-being. You help to ensure that there is financial protection when people need it most. By narrowing the protection gap, your clients can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are protected against life’s curveballs.”
“And it is precisely this vital role you play that is honoured in tonight’s event.”
A mark of dedication
Mr Sim Willing, IFPAS President, said that the 3rd APFinSA Awards garnered a total of 5,000 awardees across the Asia Pacific region, with 500 awardees coming from Singapore.
This goes to show that APFinSA has undoubtedly and successfully established this awards scheme, he said.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the working committee, partners, and sponsors for making this award truly a success. To all the awardees, your contributions are nothing less than a mark of passion, perseverance, and dedication. As the President of the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore, I am extremely proud to have such supportive and committed members representing our organisation, and we value your hard work, dedication to clients and invaluable experience,” said Mr Sim.
APFinSA Awards and APLIC
The APFinSA Awards is awarded by APFinSA, the largest financial services council in Asia Pacific. The prestigious awards recognise the top financial professionals in the Asia Pacific region.
More than 300 attendees from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore attended this year’s awards ceremony in Singapore.
The APFinSA Awards ceremony is held in conjunction with the 18th Asia-Pacific Life Insurance Congress 2022, which is happening in Singapore on 24-26 May. APLIC is organised to promote the professionalism of financial services advisory in the region. This biennial event brings together a community of financial consultants, executives, policymakers, academics and business leaders who share a common passion for the financial services profession.
This year’s Congress is organised by APLIC, the Asia Pacific Financial Services Association (APFinSA), and the Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS), and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, the Singapore Tourism Board, Changi Airport Group and Sentosa.
About APFinSA and IFPAS
APFinSA is the largest financial services council in Asia Pacific, represented by nine member associations from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
Established in 1991, APFinSA serves as the pre-eminent cross-border association to address the critical needs and opportunities of the financial advisory profession in the region. Celebrating its 30th founding anniversary this year, APFinSA is also the organiser of the biennial Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress (APLIC), which is attended by 5,000-10,000 delegates each time.
IFPAS, a proud founding member of APFinSA since 1991, has been representing the interest of financial advisers in Singapore for over 50 years now. From providing a professional development training to educating the community on smart insurance planning and advocating for Association Social Responsibility (ASR) with befriender programmes, community funds and financial literacy talks, the non-profit association has come a long way as the leading voice of the industry on legislative, regulatory and policy-related matters.
IFPAS’ role is to advocate, innovate and inspire on behalf of its members to advance the financial advice profession’s social contribution and positively shape consumers’ perceptions of the financial services industry.
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