Spotlight on Expat Living – Hong Kong

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Living and Working in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is fast paced, in your face, and, for sheer impact and vibrancy, cannot be beaten in Asia – or in most other continents for that matter. This is a city of millionaires and of high prices; wonderful restaurants and world-class hotels; where expats and locals mix in a vibrant culture with big money being earned and spent. This is not a city for the faint-hearted or for someone who likes to ease their way into a new job. No. This place is for high-achievers, hard workers, motivated individuals who want to mix it with the wealthiest and to work in a challenging environment where their abilities are constantly being tested. But where, for those who succeed, the rewards are immense – and income tax is low.

Hong Kong (referred to as HK or Honkers by the local expats) is not a cheap place to live but then again, if you choose to work there, you will be advising some of the best paid expats in the world, so average case sizes are typically above average and your earnings should reflect this. The city hosts expats from many parts of the world – UK, Europe, Australasia, South Africa, and America. As the financial hub of Asia, you can expect to be mixing with many operating in the banking sector and legal industry as well as marketing, advertising, manufacturing, construction and services industries.

The city is densely populated, with magnificent skyscrapers and many high rise apartment blocks making for a magnificent skyline. Public transport is world class with cheap taxis and a very efficient MTR system, supported by excellent bus and tram services and, of course, the fascinating ferry service that connects the various outlying islands and even connects to places further afield like Macau and Zhuhai. English is spoken widely, even by taxi drivers, which makes life very easy for the new expat especially in the world-class shopping malls and fine restaurants. Crime is low and despite its 24/7 intoxicating high life, it is rare that a visitor would be in any danger.

Working in Hong Kong

Guardian Life Management (GLM, who is part of the Guardian Wealth Management Group) is a fully licensed IFA based in HK. They set up an office there in 2012 which boasts magnificent views over the harbour. The office is located in Sheung Wan, a vibrant neighbourhood in itself, and is located directly above an MTR connection and just a 5 minute walk or so to the International Finance Centre and “Central” Hong Kong.

We asked Simon Parfitt (GLM’s local CEO) to tell us about his plans for the operations there. “Business is going extremely well here. Despite the market being reasonably busy we are taking on a lot of new clients and are being very well received, so much so that we really need to expand our team of Financial Planners to take advantage of the market opportunity. That’s why we have just commenced a recruitment drive – we want to add at least four more Financial Advisers to our team by April 2014.” Simon is not concerned whether the candidates are already based in HK or if they are looking to move here from elsewhere, including the UK. “As far as I am concerned it is all about the quality of the adviser. We can accommodate advisers who are not yet level-4 qualified but to get a working visa here every candidate must have at least some form of recognised Financial Services qualification.”

To help new recruits “hit the ground running” and to minimise the need for initial financing (although a financing package is available to suitable candidates) Simon promises that every new recruit will be kept busy from day-one with appointments being made for them by their team of BDMs (the aim is to provide at least 8 appointments per week). And they don’t stop there … “To assist with networking, referrals and PR, we organise regular client events and seminars. Good advisers know how to turn such events into profitable business…”

To find out more click here to go to ifamatch.com.

or

Why not come along to our next ifamatch.com “event” which we be held in London on 10th December 2013 (starting at 18.30), sponsored by GWM.

The evening will consist of a series of short presentations and Q&As designed to demystify the concept of living and working abroad as a financial adviser.

To apply for an invitation email me at christine@ifamatch.com by clicking here.

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