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    Knowledge creation on China, from proven China experts.

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  • Faculty & Research

    Knowledge creation on China, from proven China experts.

    386
  • Faculty & Research

    Knowledge creation on China, from proven China experts.

    386
Friday, April 12, 2019

Lessons from China’s Lucrative Wealth Management Industry

By Lu Xiaohui
Founder & CEO of Loyal Wealth Management, CEIBS FMBA alumnus

China’s wealth management market is massive! The latest estimates are that, in 2018, there were almost 1.7 million customers with over RMB 10 million ($ 1.48 million US dollars) in assets. As CEO of Loyal Wealth Management, I’ve seen the sector grow, and our company with it. Over the last nine years, I’ve learned some fundamental lessons about what it takes to provide high-quality, reliable service to our clientele. These can easily be applied to many other companies and industries.

  1. Do what you do best
  2. Reliability is key
  3. Respect the customer

For item 1, we are clear on what we have to offer. We are a wealth management company, we are not asset managers. Many people are still confused about the relationship between asset management and wealth management. In asset management, you make investments according to your preferences concerning earnings and risks. Customers invest in you if they are convinced your products are in line with their needs. An asset management company just has to mind its own business, make investments, and compete in the market based on the rate of return.

The wealth management company, on the other hand, manages customers, instead of money. It helps its clients make the best financial plans to suit their needs. For instance, it offers advice on issues such as what percentage of assets to invest in fixed-income products, secondary-market products or equities, how much insurance premium to pay annually, and how much insurance coverage to get. This is what wealth management companies do. This is what we do best.

We started off as an investment company. But in order to ensure sustainable development of the company, wealth management has become our main business. Because our focus is on helping our clients manage and grow their wealth, products that have met the risk control requirements of other companies still have to go through another round of assessment by our risk control committee before they are finally approved. Since we started the wealth management business in 2009, followed by opening our first outlet in 2010, we’ve never broken a contract for any fixed-income product.

This brings me to the second point, reliability.

Our slogan is: To be the most reliable family wealth manager. Why? We stay close to our customers. As a “wealth manager”, we not only manage wealth, we also take care of many other things, especially financial matters that customers don’t know much about. Being reliable is our priority. We are unequivocal on this positioning. Boasting that you are competent means nothing to customers. You will be measured by your actions and results.

You will also be measured by the way in which you treat your clients. And that’s my third point: respect the customer. When working at previous financial institutions, I noticed that many financial managers had no respect for customers. They didn’t view each customer as a person, or help him with wealth management out of respect for his wealth. They simply treated the customer as a performance indicator. Customers will feel the difference, and they will not remain with you for long is you treat them as targets to achieve on your way to your annual bonus. Respect for customers is also tied to the wider issue of living up to your responsibility as a member of your company’s team. Simply finishing your work at the end of the day is far from enough. You have to be responsible for everything you do. This is something we believe in very strongly.

Over the last decade, we have provided excellent service through our 11 locations in 18 key communities within Shanghai. Our goal is to expand the business to a little more than 100 outlets in total. We want to be in all the major international communities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and maybe Chengdu or Xi’an. We plan to open 18 outlets in Shanghai, about the same number in Beijing, and probably more outlets in Shenzhen.

But more importantly, we want to be a reliable family wealth manager in the real sense. We won’t stop at selling products. We are committed to wealth management by providing customers with long-term comprehensive services.

The three factors listed above are our building blocks to accomplishing our goals. I hope they can also be useful to you in meeting yours.  

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