MOVING INTO THE FINANCIAL SECTOR
I actually graduated in forensic and biomolecular science and then from graduating I got offered a job as a trainee mortgage broker in London and so I accepted that job almost immediately after graduating.
As a trainee mortgage broker, I sat various different financial exams and then became a qualified mortgage broker; did that for a couple of years and then the financial crisis set in so I decided to move and try a new life in Malaysia.
HIS ROLE AS A FINANCIAL ADVISOR
We offer everything to do with financial planning: offshore bank accounts, offshore savings plans, offshore investments and transferring pensions offshore. The key role for offshore financial advisors is actually educating expats to the advantages now available to them as an expat—because a lot of people are not familiar with those advantages.
FIGHTING BAD PRACTICES
The regulation and compliance for financial advisors in Malaysia now is a lot, lot stronger than it was six, seven years ago. Financial advisors now have to be qualified, whereas a few years ago that wasn’t the case.
It’s all about reputation and being known for having that good reputation. The companies out there with bad reputations are known for having bad reputations.
Let’s say for example, you’ve sat down with a poor advisor; the chances are you would never sit with another one again, so that’s a huge hurdle. It’s difficult; it’s a tough job. Good news travels slowly, bad news travels fast.
LIFE PRE- AND POST-CHILD
Malaysia’s a great central hub for travelling around Asia. In my first few years here I certainly travelled quite a bit to Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam. But now it’s more trips to Bangsar Village on the weekend.
Favourite places? Pre-child I used to like playing a lot of golf—all over KL. Obviously the restaurants and bars on Changkat were good pre-child. It’s more about just going out for good food now, and baby-friendly, good venues for nice lunches and nice dinners and walking around.
Pre-child I’d usually go out for a couple of beers after work; now I go home. Life changes a lot!
GETTING HIS SON ON THE FAIRWAYS
I can’t wait for my son to be running around, and I can get him his first golf club, take him up to the driving range.
As soon as he’s walking he’ll be holding a little plastic golf club. Having a little boy, I’m just really anxious; I really want him to grow up so we can go out and hit some balls together. So I want to start playing regularly now so that I’m good again!
I haven’t actually played competitive golf for 12 years so I really want to get back into it.