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Melbourne Capital Group Speak at Vietnam Wealth Management Forum 2023

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Observations from Jamie Bubb-Sacklyn, a Chartered Financial Planner with years of experience travelling to and living in Southeast Asia.

I first travelled to Vietnam back in 2011 while backpacking around Asia, stopping at the usual jaunts (although not Malaysia at the time, I moved here “blind”). I loved Ho Chi Minh City. So vibrant, such a buzz, so many motorbikes! The food, museums, and people were all great.

So, when I was invited to participate on panel discussions at the Vietnam Wealth Management Forum on 8 November in HCMC, following the success of the Malaysian Forum back in April, I jumped at the chance.

The focus of the Forum was on the increasing wealth of Vietnam and how to engage Vietnam based individuals to the global wealth management industry, as well as enhancing the knowledge and experience of those within the industry to ensure that they have the skills needed to give advice in these areas.

Juria Hartmans and Jamie Bubb-Sacklyn at the Vietnam Wealth Forum

The average age of individuals in Vietnam is just 31. The economy is thriving and GDP per capita has doubled over the last 10 years. There are more people seeking advice in the wealth management space as their personal wealth increases and the forum was a chance to share ideas.

When I arrived in HCMC for the conference I was dumbfounded by the development that the city had undergone since 2011. More buildings and more cars on the roads (still many motorbikes) but the same buzz and people enjoying the street food on plastic seats on the streets. I couldn’t help myself and stopped for a quick pork ball noodle soup on the street, ahead of the cocktail reception to kick off the conference.

Hosted at Le Meridien, the first evening was networking and a chance to meet some of the panelists and guests who’d be in attendance. The first thing that struck me was how far people had travelled and how many nationalities were in attendance. From Melbourne Capital Group, we had representation from the UK (me), Australia and Malaysia but we met individuals from Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, India, Thailand and, of course, Vietnam, as well as others.

The next morning, things kicked off with panelists from Singaporean and Swiss private banks as well as legal representation from Singaporean firms and Melbourne Capital Group’s director, Reuben van Dijk. The 200 or so attendees were eager to hear how family businesses are beginning to transition into global powerhouses and how the succession planning for family businesses rarely gets to the third or fourth generation. That is, businesses are usually sold off and family legacies lost.

In more developed markets, to combat the “riches to rags in three generations” story, family wealth is typically distributed into financial jurisdictions via family Trusts and other structures to ensure continuity of legacy. In many countries in Southeast Asia, we’re starting to see the transition of wealth from the first generation to the second and third, and so these families are now also looking to maintain their legacy.

Later in the day, as things moved on to how the industry can evolve and develop, I explained that the key to wealth management is mainly to listen to the needs of individuals/families and then providing solutions to match their requirements. Not the other way around. Too often we see product pushers trying to match clients to their solutions when it should be a client-first approach.

L-R: Evrard Bordier, Reuben van Dijk, Philipp Piaz, Zac Lucas, and Tan Woon Hum

Integrity is a key part of the industry, as is being qualified to give advice. I spent years completing dozens of exams to become a Chartered Financial Planner and am proud to have spent the time doing so. I explained to the budding advisers that they too should look to educate themselves via exams/qualifications in order become the next generation of wealth managers.

My key takeaways from the trip were how quickly this part of the world develops and how people can be elevated from the masses swiftly by implementing an idea they have and turning it into a great business. At the same time, the hustle and bustle of Asian culture continues to shine through the development. I’ve been living in Malaysia for six years now and am looking forward to seeing the region continue to develop over the next decade.

This article contributed by Jamie Bubb-Sacklyn.

Melbourne Capital Group is an award-winning, independent financial services company providing bespoke personal and corporate wealth management solutions. Our expert team of experienced and qualified wealth managers are committed to listening to you, in order to develop and execute comprehensive financial plans, helping you achieve your specific goals.

For more information, email [email protected].

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