Tell us about your business
I work in the Australian expat team within Global Financial Consultants (GFC), where we provide personal financial advice to Australians in Singapore. Interestingly, GFC was actually founded in Australia back in 1997 before making the move to Singapore in 2003, so I’m certainly proud of the heritage of the company. As a firm, we provide tailored, personal financial advice to both Singaporeans and expats to ensure that they’re making the most of their time in Singapore, and managing their risks appropriately.
What’s your role all about?
In our team, we look after the Australian expats in Singapore across a wide range of areas of advice including; retirement planning, savings, portfolio management, personal insurances such as life and income protection through to estate and succession planning. In short, I view my role as simply helping fellow Australian expats to ensure that when they do return to Australia, they will look back on their time in Singapore fondly and know that they’ve truly seized the opportunity they were presented with.
I’m been very pleased to see many more Australians reach out and connect with me and my team before even departing Australia so that they can get their financial affairs in order before they leave Australian shores. This may be as simple as checking if their life insurance will cover them while they’re abroad, through to understanding the intricacies of how the retirement savings systems work in Singapore, and how this will work for them if they decide to repatriate to Australia.
With our partner advisers in Australia, we’re able to ensure that our Australian expat clients remain in trusted hands, and can ensure that their offshore financial plans will remain appropriate when they do decide to return home.
What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?
The growth in ESG investing as an approach to portfolio management has grown rapidly over the past 5 years, with growing interest over the most recent 18 months in particular. This refers to applying a filter to your investments to focus on those with a sound approach to their impact on the environment, the sustainability of their business practices and overall governance.
Whether it be investing in solar energy to provide power to electric vehicles, reducing the layers of plastics used in consumer products or simply avoiding those sectors harmful to the environment, there is a strong focus here. We have been aligning our client portfolios to a greater focus on renewable sectors, and have received positive feedback, and expect that this interest will remain strong.
Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?
AustCham helps me to feel more at home. I genuinely love to connect with other Australian expats and learn about their journey and their experience in Singapore. I’ve had the privilege to meet some incredibly talented individuals who have set up businesses and taken on roles that have enabled them to make their mark on Singapore. AustCham for me plays a key role in making this happen and ensuring that we continue to have an avenue to remain connected with like-minded individuals looking to make the most of their time in Singapore.
I am very much looking forward to the live events being able to commence again, and being able to connect with people face-to-face. Until then, we’ll all continue to work on our Zoom-etiquette.
Where is the best place in Singapore for a nice coffee or wine?
Having moved to Singapore approximately 8 years ago, this is definitely one area I’m grateful to have seen significant improvement. Personally, I think it’s thanks to the Aussie entrepreneurs coming to Singapore and setting up great cafes that have led to the improvement in this space. For a great coffee (and personally, I think this can be found all over Singapore now), I would head to; Forty Hands, Common Man, Toby’s Estate and even Jewel.
For a casual glass of wine, I’m a big fan of Wine Connection, thanks in large part for being a key driver to introducing great quality, affordable wines into Singapore’s dining scene. Having been recently introduced to it by a friend, I would also add Tuga in Dempsey to the list for some top-notch Portuguese wines. During the Covid-19 restrictions, we’ve become quite accustomed to ordering wine and drinking at home with friends, which thanks to some great businesses like PopUp Wine, and Vinomofo, this has become very seamless to achieve.
What are you most looking forward to for 2021?
Well, I would love to say hopping on a plane and jetting off somewhere on holidays or heading back to Perth to see my family, however being a Financial Planner does keep me somewhat grounded in my expectations. Instead, I look forward to continuing to explore new places in Singapore, staying connected with our great group of friends here and of course, staying fit and healthy.
I am also looking forward to being able to host events with our Australian expat clients here again, particularly our annual charity fundraiser. I remain hopeful, that with Singapore’s careful management, we can quickly get to a stage of being able to host these events again in the near future.