Perhaps most pressing in Malaysia is the continued need to overhaul the business model across the industry, which will help to increase the penetration of wealth products and retain more onshore – as long as this is more focused on the right type of (longer term) revenue.
Finding the right balance in terms of the fees and incentive structure to drive this represents a key component. As is the education and retraining of sales staff, to get them thinking and acting in a way where they sell solutions, not products.
The industry must ensure it can evolve in these and other ways to make the most of the expected trend towards more wealth staying onshore amid regulatory scrutiny.
The win-win, it seems, will come when advisers offer needs-based selling via open architecture platforms, and when the banks can encourage more investors to convert their savings into investment and insurance solutions, as a way to build and protect wealth.
However, to ensure any initiatives have meaning and will have an impact, the industry needs to take more seriously its responsibility to encourage a more structured and comprehensive approach to client education and professional development.
Against this backdrop, this event looked at where the market is at today, the opportunities and challenges it faces, and where it needs to go to move to the next level.
Key also to the content was insights from experts in overseas markets – sharing best practices, the components of successful businesses, and lessons learned from developing and managing wealth management offerings – and regulation – elsewhere in Asia.