Industry Survey: How can the Financial Advisory Industry in Asia serve the Society better?

| 18 Apr 2019

Asia Advisers Network and 360F have come together to conduct an industry-wide survey focused on financial advisory in Asia. The objective of the survey is to collect insiders' assessment of the industry, namely how well it has fulfilled its role in the society, its persistent challenges and its untapped potential. With insights from both senior executives and practitioners, this would be the first of its kind survey in the industry in this region.

Participate in the survey here:

What is the role of financial advisory in society? The answer is crucial because it guides the assessment of the industry’s past contributions and navigates its future as the next decade draws near.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) articulated what the financial system should provide to society back in 2012. From one of the nine broad societal needs identified, WEF elaborated that the society needs “trusted and objective advice on how to best use financial products and information to meet personal objectives minimizing search costs and investment risks”. It is sensible to assert that the financial advisory industry plays a critical role.

How well has the financial advisory industry in Asia performed this role so far? We gather key observation points to form the survey background.

Trust has been elusive. According to the Global Survey on the State of Investor Trust by CFA Institute in 2018, only 10% retail investors in Singapore and 7% in Hong Kong believe that their financial advisers always put their clients first. The global average was 35%.

Regulators in Asia have shored up efforts to protect consumers by mandating financial services providers to be fair and professional in their advisory process. A strong emphasis is laid on the transparency and adequacy of information for the consumers to make a rational decision. Some regulators take it further by mandating some products to be made so basic that the need for a financial advisor can be removed.

The motivation to steer away from the human advisor also comes from the belief that disintermediation would lower the cost of the financial products. Technology has taken on centre stage in financial services, stimulating the growth of fintech and in its earlier days, the hopes that digital direct channels will disintermediate the advisory industry.

A clear direction for the next decade

Ms Clarie Kwa, Director, Head of Business Development, 360F, said: “Financial advisers have the sacred mission of providing trusted, objective and suitable financial advice. This is no simple task. Financial decisions are both logical and emotional, and involve many considerations that interact among themselves dynamically. This survey that 360F spearheads in collaboration with Asia Advisers Network assesses the financial advisory industry in Asia with a critical eye, with the aim that the industry finds a clear direction to advance in the next decade.”

Mr Benjamin Ang, Editor, Asia Advisers Network, said: “Most surveys exclude the very people on the ground pounding the streets – agents and advisers. As a proud advocate of the under-appreciated role that professional advisers play in the industry and the society in narrowing protection gaps, Asia Advisers Network is pleased to partner with 360F on this survey. We aim to gather collective intelligence of both senior executives and advisers to advance the financial advisory industry in Asia. Make your voice heard.”

Participate in the survey here:

A detailed report would be made exclusively available to survey participants on the completion of the report.


About 360F

360F supports banks, life insurers and their distributors to scale sustainably. In particular, 360F utilizes marketing science, behavioral finance and psychology to innovate and forward financial advisory to the next frontier. Other than providing consulting services, 360F is currently launching its next-generation product suite “360-FORESIGHT PRO®”, an AI-based advisory platform and the first-of-its-kind robo for financial well-being. This includes an algo-based solution assistant that automates and optimizes a holistic solution comprising protection (insurance) and investment. Financial advisers are set up with 360-AI capabilities and sales intelligence to raise their effectiveness in discovering and realizing their customers’ true (and greater) potential for financial well-being.


About Asia Advisers Network

Asia Advisers Network (AAN) is a dedicated online platform meeting the information needs of advisers and agency leaders. AAN reports on the latest industry news, development and expert content from the best minds in the industry. This is done through multi-media channels to help advisers and agency leaders stay at the forefront of trends and thrive in the era of fintech and insurtech. Launched by the region’s premier insurance publication Asia Insurance Review, this is part of its commitment and continuous efforts to serve the insurance industry in Asia. AAN aims to help raise the bar of advisers and agency leaders, and also showcase the excellent work that they do.