First time's luck, second time's a pattern - Calvin Lee, Asia's Top 5 Digital Agency Leader of the Year

| 10 Jul 2019

Calvin Lee is the Digital Agency Leader of the Year Finalist in the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards which will be held in Bangkok on 18 July 2019. Last year, at the 3rd Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards, his mentee emerged as the winner in the same category for agent. As they say, "First time's luck, Second time's a pattern". So we sat down with Calvin for a chat on putting a modern twist to the way advisers and leaders go about their business.

No.1 in AXA, Top 1% on LinkedIn

While there are many practitioners in the financial advisory industry tapping the powers of social media for personal branding and sales on Facebook and Instagram, Calvin stands out for successfully creating a system on LinkedIn to use it as a recruitment tool.  

Calvin Lee has over 13,000 LinkedIn followers, with at least 1,500 profile views every 90days. i.e. More than 16 potential recruits view his LinkedIn profile consistently every single day. For his efforts and success on the platform, the Financial Services Director from AXA Insurance was awarded LinkedIn Champion 2018 by the insurer in Singapore.

Other than company recognition, as per LinkedIn’s official Social Selling Index measurement, he is in the top 1% in the industry, as well as top 1% in his Network.


How it all began

With almost everyone armed with a smartphone and surfing the digital world on a daily basis, Calvin knew he had to embrace technology.

As an agency leader, he saw LinkedIn – the professional network – as the perfect platform to pre-screen, select and recruit professionals with the right credentials that he would love on his team.

An engineer by training, he approached the idea systematically and analytically to design his 10-step Success System for recruitment via LinkedIn.

In the first year of implementation, he recruited five advisers from LinkedIn, out of thirteen new advisers, which helped him to earn his promotion to Financial Services Director that year. And as LinkedIn is an international platform, among the advisers he recruited were from the region, which helped his agency to penetrate the international markets.

Since then, he has continued to fine-tune the system to achieve even better results.


LinkedIn as a seed, social media as a catalyst

Mastering LinkedIn was but the first step for Calvin. It planted a seed in him and his agency that social media can be the catalyst to propel their business.

As an expert on financial matters, his team produces videos, writes articles, and organises events to raise awareness and educate the public on financial topics from wealth foundation, wealth protection, wealth accumulation, wealth acceleration to wealth distribution. It’s all about creating buzz and interest on these topics through infotainment, which are otherwise not on people’s minds.

Calvin’s businesses revolve around five key thrusts:

  • Social Media and Digital Automation
  • International Markets
  • Trust and Recommendations System
  • Seminar and Group Selling
  • Retirement and Legacy Planning

By embracing the digital world for these five key thrusts, Calvin has developed an ecosystem for his agency to prospect, recruit and even automate services for their customers.


Automation with a human touch

On the need to utilise digital tools, systems, and technology, Calvin believes that a successful business is “A profitable commercial enterprise that works WITHOUT YOU”.

Automation through a systematic approach is the one to go, otherwise one will always just be trading their limited time for money.

Having said that, he emphasised that not everything can or should be automated. Being in the financial services industry, the human touch cannot be omitted. The products and solutions can be complex and sophisticated, hence agents and advisers should still be there to “hold the hands” of clients, so to speak.

“Technology and digitalisation are just tools to be used as a way to improve and complement the things that are being done now,” he said.


Beyond business achievements

Besides Calvin’s outstanding achievements, he is also the President (2019/20) of the Financial Services Managers Association (‘FSMA’) in Singapore. Taking time off his business and serving as President of the association is his way of giving back to the community.

It is only right, he said. He recalled that when he was a new member in FSMA, he met many veterans who were in the industry for 30-40 over years. And although many of the members were from different companies, they view one another as friends who shared tips and best practices with each other over bonding sessions.

Calvin feels that joining the association helped open his vision and mind. “Don’t be a frog in the well.”


Being a finalist is a big deal

As a finalist for Digital Agency Leader of the Year, he says it’s a different feeling going to the Awards this time as compared to attending as a guest or supporting a teammate.

Emerging as a finalist to be among the best in the region is as good as winning, he said. “It is a big deal. It is a regional Awards and one with an independently-audited judging process. So, big congratulations to all fellow finalists and good luck to all.”



Be sure to catch Calvin Lee live at the 2019 Agency Innovation Conference where he sits as a panelist sharing more about his digital journey on the 18 July, Bangkok, Thailand. For more details on the conference, visit .

Calvin Lee would also be attending the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards Gala Dinner that follows after the 2019 Agency Innovation Conference. The winners would only be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner. So, come and join us in the celebration where we honour and recognise the best in Asia.

Cocktail session starts at 6:30pm. See you there!