Awaiting flight number 7 in 12 days and the final leg of my journey home I was contemplating the successes and challenges presented from our travels around South East Asia and also which of the many contenders for most bizarre/ humorous moment won that particular accolade.
Our trip incorporated stays in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and it?s interesting to see how the various regulatory changes are affecting these markets. Singapore continues to lead the way in this respect and the varying standards from country to country make it difficult to see how an ASEAN fund passport scheme could work effectively anytime in the immediate future. The withdrawal of services to certain countries from some of the leading life insurance providers also presents challenges and opportunities alike and it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next 6 months.
From a business perspective we met with some great people and continue to develop some excellent partnerships and relationships with people across the investment sector from family offices, private banks, and financial advisers alike. Interest and investment in some our key funds has been accelerated further given the recent market chaos as investment managers seek lowly correlated returns. It is also apparent that demand for discretionary investment services continues to grow as advisers look to focus their time on developing client relationships and realise the value in employing a team of experts to handle their investment affairs.
One of the biggest obstacles we face on our travels is overcoming the scepticism that is rightly apparent across the region given some of the scams and problems with Funds previously marketed in the area. However, when given the chance to explain the structure of the group that supports our business and the focus of our funds, this scepticism is usually suppressed. Aside from this the biggest obstacle to our development on this trip was the haze in Singapore! Apparently the burning of forests in Northern Indonesia to create farming land is the cause of this dangerous smog that led to meetings being rescheduled and even the closing of schools across Singapore on Friday.
And the award for most bizarre moment goes to?..
Being greeted in a bar by a Thai lepricorn nearly took this accolade but in the end I decided that reversing on a Kuala Lumpur motorway in a beaten up 1980s Proton taxi was more than worthy of the award!
I must say a big thank you to all of our clients and new acquaintances alike that showed us warmth of hospitality that makes the long and onerous journeys worth the while.
Until next time??.