Assets Prestige Alliance (APA), a group of agency units of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, was formed in September 2016 in a small office of around 400 square feet. In just over two years, it has had to move office thrice as its group size leapt from 20 to over 130. It currently occupies a location that is ten times the size of its original office.
Jaden Wang, Co-Founder of APA, shared with us the secrets behind its phenomenal growth.
Even junior managers have a say
“Our phenomenal growth rate is down to our APA culture,” he said.
One of the most important aspects of APA’s culture that he highlighted was the partnership culture.
“APA was formed with my partners Derek Koh and Damon Wong. From the onset, we decided that APA would be run on a partnership basis. That means we don’t look at the rank of the managers. A junior manager has an equal say in APA.”
It is very much like in a parliament where decisions are made according to the majority after a debate. While more time may be needed to make a decision, it is essential to get the viewpoints of all the stakeholders, he said.
“In such a culture where even the most junior manager has a voice in group decisions, we would be able to go further together amicably. This enables us to build upon the trust we have in each other that decisions are made for the greater good.”
Another aspect of the culture that he said has made a significant difference is being pro-growth. When there is a new consultant, the career paths available - the consultant path and the management path – are clearly explained to them.
“If a consultant chooses a management path, we’ll explain to them the remuneration structure, how to get there, how many members they’ll need, and what kind of targets they’ll need to achieve. So from the very beginning, they’ll have an end in mind. And as mentors, we will always be there to help them get to their goal fast,” he said.
Making waves in the industry
For such a young organisation, APA – and more specifically Jaden Wang Group (JWG) – has been making waves in the industry.
He highlighted two outstanding achievers who have emerged from JWG.
“First, is one of my managers Derek Koh. He was my first financial consultant, and also a co-founder of APA. When he was promoted as a junior manager, he was the top in the category in the whole of Prudential Singapore. He topped his category again when he was promoted to the next rank as a manager. For his promotion to senior manager, he made it to the top three. And just this year, he was appointed as Financial Services Director. He has groomed six managers now which is a remarkable journey in such a short time,” said Jaden.
“Another member of JWG that I’d like to recognise is Jaslyn Ng. She had 11 years of HR experience and reached the rank of HR director at an MNC. But due to family reasons – being a mother and wanting to spend more time with her family – she decided to join me to gain more control of her time.
“Jaslyn joined the industry on 1 July 2017. In the short span of six months, she achieved MDRT as a rookie. In the following year, she achieved MDRT in four months and COT at the end of the year. She has also been promoted to become a junior manager this year. It is remarkable what she has managed to accomplish in a short span of time and her achievements are an inspiration to all of us.” he said.
System of success
Both Derek and Jaslyn were groomed through the APA system. Other than the company’s induction programme, a new financial consultant in APA will undergo its internal training conducted by the group’s seniors, managers and directors.
“We will teach them in-depth product knowledge, how to present themselves to prospects, grooming tips – everything practical that is needed by a financial consultant to get started,” he said.
“We also provide different prospecting platforms to cater to the needs of different consultants. These include roadshows, telemarketing and street canvassing. Different consultants may be more suited for different prospecting methods. So we provide the various options to best help our consultants to get new leads and gain more clients,” he added.
As for aspiring managers, the mentors would be the seasoned managers and directors. “We, mentors, would impart exactly how we do our own recruitment and how we do career sharing. We also organise our own APA recruitment events where potential candidates are able get a sense of the culture through interacting with the people in the group,” he shared.
Key success traits
On the key traits Jaden has observed in successful leaders and consultants he has groomed, he said that grit is a crucial characteristic to doing well in this career.
“Grit means when you’re faced with rejections, you are able to take it positively and still persevere. This is one major characteristic that a person must have. Second, would be the willingness to learn. This means you have to come in with an open mind and adopt things that the mentor teaches you. When you’re open, it means you’re willing to change so the mentor will be able to push you to greater heights,” he concluded.
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