Quality of product, industry, trend and a very high quality of customer service will shape the future for market leaders, says DANNY TSE, Managing Director of ATHENA BEST FINANCIAL GROUP.

While most of Hong Kong’s independent financial advisors known as IFAs are reeling under the onslaught of government regulation, Athena Best Financial Group has chosen to innovate, impressing customers with a wider range of much-needed professional services that go beyond just product selling, says Danny Tse, the firm’s Managing Director in Hong Kong.

“Regulation is not totally undeserved simply because as a financial city, we have to embrace best business practices so while the government is doing its part, it is up to us as an industry to continue to serve our customers as best as we can,” says Tse. And he has chosen to do that by starting subsidiaries that offer more than just advisory services.

Challenge is Good

“Aside from regulation, we also see China curbing the outflow of capital and the impending super authority (widely regarded as the insurance version of the SFC) as reasons for concern as to the impact this will have on the industry,” says Tse.

“We’ve decided to focus on progress meanwhile and provide the markets with what is needed now, which is better quality of financial service, a wider choice of products locally and internationally and of course to advise our customers on international investment opportunities.”

“On the human resources side, attracting and retaining quality talent with high moral and ethical standards will be another challenge that we as a company and as an industry have to tackle.”

Days Ahead

“As competition increases we see fees falling as customers get more potential-savvy and informed about global opportunities, trends and services. We see social media playing a pivotal role in enhancing customer-proximity and of course we see increasing transparency and consequently a rise in ethics and best business practices. The only way forward is to serve holistically and honestly to cultivate a comprehensive financial platform that delivers more than it promises and results in increasing referral business. Educating the market will be a major challenge as investors too needs to appreciate our constraints in bringing them expected ROI.”

Beating the Trend

“The trick is to embrace the fact that we are now going to have to probably make less profit than we used to but that’s alright given that we are in the business for the long haul. The coming few years will bring the need to introspect, consolidate and build qualitatively. Our customers are not punters but rather people who want solid, steady, long term growth and advice from an investment house that is ready and able to give them the best, timely service with the agility to respond to market changes. We bring to the table that history of uninterrupted, quality service that Hong Kong as grown to trust. We have an attitude and reputation for personalized service and the willingness to listen to our customer’s needs and concerns. Over the years we have built up a slow but steadily increasing amount of referral business which gives us every confidence of being able to ride out this storm and emerge from it even stronger,” concludes Tse.

For additional information, please visit www.athenabest.com

Hong Kong’s Business Leaders share market and interest intelligence in the pages of HKMVC 2017