The company said it is thought to be Singapore’s first financial advisory operation to target specialist needs of the LGBT community there.
Mikael Ng, a Singaporean who has been with the company for six years, will oversee the new operation, which will be the Singapore outpost of LGBT Wealth.
As reported, LGBT Wealth is a Hong Kong-based company 51% owned by LGBT Capital, a London and Hong-Kong-based entity created to invest in and cater for the LGBT consumer market. It was launched in February. In Hong Kong, and eventually in Shanghai, LGBT Wealth is being represented by the Financial Partners advisory firm.
AAM Advisory said its new LGBT operation will provide advice and services to LGBT clients “in a number of important areas, including retirement planning, term savings, insurance, property and wealth protection”. It said it will look to combine its own financial planning resources and expertise “with knowledge of the special concerns facing the LGBT community, by benefiting from the experience” and input of LGBT Wealth.
For the time being, the LGBT community in Singapore exists alongside a law which criminalises sex between men.
In April, the Singapore High Court rejected a petition by two graphic designers to repeal the law banning gay sex, but it is thought the case will be appealed, press reports at the time said.
In June, for the fifth year in a row, a “Pink Dot” rally was held in support of same-sex rights, which saw some 21,000 individuals show up – wearing pink – at Hong Lim Park, to form a large pink "dot".
Understanding the LGBT individual’s needs
Paul Thompson, chairman of LGBT Wealth and founder of LGBT Capital, noted that many people in the LGBT community lack access to advisers who “truly understand their needs”. These include an understanding that the life cycle for those in that community “can be very different” from the mainstream norm.
“Important issues like saving for retirement can be overlooked [by those in the LGBT community],” but with the right advice “there is real opportunity for LGBT individuals to achieve their financial goals”, Thompson added.
AAM Advisory chief executive Matthew Dabbs noted that in Asia, legal protections can be a problem area for LGBT partners, and he said this is one of the things AAM expects to be able to help its LGBT clients and their partners with.
Experts who have studied the size and composition of Asia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market have estimated its size at more than 200 million men and women, with a combined annual spending power of around $800bn each year. In Singapore, the LGBT population has been estimated at more than 300,000, with an annual spending power of more than S$20bn ($15.7bn, £10.2bn).
Globally, the LGBT population is estimated at more than 400 million, spending an estimated $3trn annually.
As reported, Easton Investments Ltd, a Melbourne, Australia-based, Australian Securities Exchange-listed company, acquired a 19.9% stake in AAM Advisory earlier this year, as it looked to boost its presence in Singapore. In documents filed at that time, AAM Advisory was described as being one of the three largest players in the Singapore expatriate advisory market, with some S$250m in assets under advice.