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An exclusive interview by Hubbis “This is Grandtag – Wealth, health and legacy planning a sound formula for the future”
This is Grandtag
Wealth, health and legacy planning a sound formula for the future
Hong Kong-headquartered Grandtag Financial Group has come a long way from the humble beginnings of four employees selling insurance products 19 years ago to today’s multi-million dollar gem enterprise with 80 staff members.
In recognition of our expertise, private banks and family offices, partner with Grandtag to assist their high net worth clients in developing life-insurance based wealth structuring and transferring planning solutions. At present, Grandtag Financial Group serves clients in more than 15 markets across Asia, covering Greater China and South East Asia through the company’s strong business base and strategic presence in two of Asia’s private banking business hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore. This remarkable business transition has been carried off by the company’s Group CEO and Founder, Jameson Leung, through his dedicated and determined efforts.
As early as 1999, Leung spotted a business opportunity in the Asian financial market that prompted him to set up his company. “What I saw in Hong Kong at the time was an unfulfilled market demand for independent financial advisors; clients in those days were looking for unbiased financial advice from independent advisors rather than being served directly by insurance agents with a vested interest for the insurance companies that they are associated with. Thus, I founded the company with the support of a few friends from the insurance and financial industry.”
A Change of Operating Business Model
Grandtag’s business model has changed over the years, progressing from serving mass affluent market clients to an operation where the majority of the company’s working partners are private bankers and family offices. These partnerships of ours provide High Net-worth Individuals specialized services evolving around wealth, health and legacy planning.
Leung expanded his three-pronged strategy to stay ahead. “Today we are giving our partners holistic solutions for the three areas that complement our service, which creates added value to our service. We talk about Wealth, we talk about Health and we talk about Legacy, and we offer these holistic solutions through private banks to its valued clients”, he said.
“On the wealth side, we assist clients to set-up tailor-made insurance plans for preserving their wealth as well as facilitating their succession planning. We have entered a collaboration with a global health family office, Qineticare, and for legacy planning we set up a family office “GT Legacy Family Office” partnering with Legacy Academy to help our clients pass on their wealth and assets, family values, and their enterprising spirit to their second generation and beyond. We are offering these three areas of services to clients through our private banking partners.”
Leung has been involved in the industry long enough to know that the financial business, like time, will never stands still, but constantly evolving and ever changing. And he has some insightful views about where the future lies for the wealth management market.
“No doubts about it, clients by and large are becoming smarter and smarter going into the future. A trend is taking shape that affluent clients are opting for at least two or three bankers or EAMs to work with them, and I would anticipate the market needs more independent asset managers to serve individual clients or family offices,” Leung said.
“As a consequence of market evolution, more independent asset managers will be coming on stream to provide advisory service to clients on the selection of financial products and investment product providers for clients’ best interests. On account of the ongoing shifts in consumer expectations, Leung sees more and more retired bankers becoming independent asset managers in the years to come.
To cope with a changing financial landscape and opportunities, Leung said he is looking to add more resources to grow the team – an important focal point of our efforts to deliver life-insurance based advice at the highest possible standard.
“We plan to increase our sales revenue by working with more alliances with the private banks. At present, we have about 10 banks that are affiliated with us; by the next year we hope to increase our banking business affiliation to 20 banks. At the same time, we are also closely collaborating with family offices, EAM offices to grow our revenue.”
Providing US Insurance to Our Clients
With a viable insurance network in California, Grandtag is ideally positioned itself to make US product offerings that are not generally available to clients in Asia due to a “preferred rate” scheme.
“There are a lot of products that the Asian insurer or provider cannot provide,” Leung said. “In the US there are five rates that can be offered, but in Asia there is just the preferred rate. There is the super preferred or ultra preferred rate in the US and under the preferred rate category, there are two more classes, but in Asia only the preferred rate is offered.
“Again, all US insurance companies can offer up to 120 years coverage, but in Asia most of the insurance company will offer up to age 100 nowadays. Aside from these differences, the insurance premium in the US is much cheaper than that in Asia. It is because the US insurance market is more developed and mature than the rest of the world; as a result, the US insurance market features the broadest product range and the cheapest insurance premium across the globe. That’s why US insurance is recommended and why I have also taken up US insurance coverage myself.”
Passion for business
Jameson Leung, by his own admission is “a very ordinary man’, but what cannot be disputed is that he is an extraordinary businessman.
Having built up Grandtag Financial Group from a firm of four employees to an Asia regional financial conglomerate with over 80 employees, Leung is humble when it comes to discussing about his achievements
“What truly distinguishes us from other Independent Financial Advisors is the passion that we bring to our work. Our passion for delivering personalized advice; our passion for rendering swift and efficient service; our passion for innovation and creative thinking; our passion for ensuring the complete satisfaction of our clients and business partners. In short, our passion to go beyond,” Leung said.
When he is not at the helm of Grandtag, Leung enjoys playing golf but again there is a business element attached. “Every weekend, if I am in Hong Kong, I will play with my friends and, of course, from time to time I have what we call ‘customer call’ games.”
Another leisure time activity is about enjoying a premium whisky, which Leung accommodates himself in a VIP lounge which boasts a uniquely designed bar & whisky library in his Sheung Wan office.
Leung mused: “I am always thinking how to differentiate ourselves from other players in the market. We wanted to impress our working partners so we have a VIP lounge rather than a tea room. I go to a lot of private banker rooms; they are good, but…”