Singapore-based financial advice firm AAM Advisory is looking to expand the services it offers clients.
Chief executive Eryk Lee revealed to International Adviser that the company is looking to secure a capital market services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) by 2021.
The business already holds a financial advisory licence, but it has set eyes on expanding its in-house proposition and expertise.
Lee said: “Perhaps, we will be very similar to the independent asset managers as well as private banks that do what we can do.”
This is because the licence would allow AAM to do discretionary fund management on top of providing advice.
He believes the CMS licence would give the firm an “advantage”. This is because, “in the market, if you look at a private bank or independent asset managers, they typically have different parties”, he added. “They work with different parties with different licences, such as lawyers, accountants and insurance brokers, whereas, for us, we have in-house expertise.”
Lee believes the licence will streamline offerings for clients, who won’t have to rely on several different companies for their needs.
He said there is a gap in the Singaporean market for full in-house offerings.
Lee added: “We can provide them [clients] with not just the investment side, but also with the right structure to hold their assets and provide tax advice. The holistic advice is where the client sees the value these days and having too many parties involved in the decision-making process can be clunky and not efficient.”
He explained that private banks or independent asset managers can look after the investment side of things but are not able to do insurance, for instance, because they don’t hold the licence for that type of business.
“Being able to package everything for a client means that it’s going to be simpler and cheaper for them to have the packaged solution,” Lee said. “And, at the same time, they deal with one party rather than with multiple ones.”
AAM Advisory hoped to get the licence in place in 2020, but due to the disruptions brought by the outbreak of the covid-19, it was forced to press pause on its growth plans.
But Lee believes that, in hindsight, this has been a good thing because now “there is more clarity and more certainty” about what’s to come and what clients can expect.