AAG: Making history with Singapore's first "100 IDA" team

| 22 May 2019

Advisors Alliance Group, an authorised representative of AIA Financial Advisers in Singapore, created history in the financial services world when it became the lion city's first "100 IDA" team in 2018. The 100 IDA is a recognition that is awarded to any team in the world with 100 International Dragon Award (IDA) awardees in a year. Advisors Alliance Group (AAG)'s Executive Director Sunny Yap Soon Jin, shared with us the significance of the achievement.

The IDA is a mark of performance and excellence of professional insurance practitioners in the Chinese world. A point worth noting is that an IDA qualifier must fulfil a minimum of 36 case count. “I feel it’s worth measuring and talking about. Besides being highly productive, an adviser must have touched sufficient lives to deserve this award,” he said.

The milestone of being recognised as the first 100 IDA team holds special significance.

Given the regulatory environment in Singapore, to produce 100 IDAs in a team is a miracle, according to IDA Founder Liang Tian Long.

Mr Yap, said: “It makes us feel very proud because we can represent the little red dot and have a seat at the table among the big boys from major countries in the world.”

Best of the best

AAG is well represented on both the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and IDA platforms as “both of them represent the best of the best in this industry”.

It made a decision to pursue MDRT as well as IDA so that the group can learn from the world’s best in both the English-speaking and Mandarin-speaking worlds at MDRT Annual Meeting and the IDA Worldwide Chinese Life Insurance Congress.

“The Western world has always tried to understand the Chinese but it can’t. The Chinese have always tried to understand the Western world, but they also can’t. Being Singaporeans, we are blessed that whether linguistically or culturally, we can embrace both worlds,” he said.

He said that in general, the Western world may be more sophisticated in systems and processes, whereas in the Eastern world, the focus tends to be “in values, emotions and the spreading of love”.   

“When we attend and learn from the best of the eastern and western spheres of the world, you may not be able to tell the difference in one year. But five years down the road, I believe that the whole agency thinking process, systems, and mentality will be very different from the rest of the world.”

Get the advantage before it’s gone

But this advantage is not going to last long for those who are bilingual. Sunny believes that the advantage will be available for a maximum of 10 years. Information flow is happening at a much more rapid pace and he also believes that the Chinese’s grasp of the English language, and exposure and understanding of the Western culture would progress rapidly in the coming years.

“So for those who are bilingual, participate actively in both the MDRT Annual Meeting as well as World Chinese Life Insurance Congress to capitalise on this unique gift. I think we should capitalise on this situation and get the world’s best practices in order to become better in the financial advisory world,” he said.

Find out how the Advisors Alliance Group is able to replicate its success and runs varsity internship programmes that are so successful that it has had to turn away interested undergraduates in this interview “To attract financial advisors, don't sell the career”.