Money Moves

Advice for all at financial expo

By Ella Lee

This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

Angeline Chin, chief executive officer; Paul Pong, executive committee member, The Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong
Photo: Edde Ngan

Although financial planning and wealth management businesses have been growing rapidly in recent years, it was not until 2004 that a major exhibition focusing on the industry was organised in Hong Kong. Now in its second year, the next Financial World Expo will be held from 7-9 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

According to Angeline Chin, chief executive officer of The Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK), which is organising the event, the main purpose is to enhance Hong Kong's position as the financial hub of Asia.

Major industry players will showcase their latest solutions and share investment strategies and opinions with the general public, making the event both informative and educational. Both the Hong Kong Securities and Future Commission and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority will serve as advisers for the consumer education corner at this year's event. The expo will be built around the four quadrants of wealth management and investment that anyone can expect to go through in their life.

Paul Pong, executive committee member of the IFPHK, says that while the market for wealth protection, or insurance, is relatively mature, there are tremendous opportunities in other areas. He forecasts exponential growth for estate planning and trusts for wealth distribution. "The market is actually undeveloped in Hong Kong, since Chinese people are traditionally more conservative about making wealth distribution arrangements," he says.

Mr Pong believes that the abolition of estate duty proposed by the Financial Secretary in his last budget speech would help to promote Hong Kong as a wealth management centre "People will no longer shift their financial assets offshore to avoid the imposition of the related tax," he explains.

This year's expo is expected to attract around 70 exhibitors, including leading corporate names in banking, insurance, financial planning, asset management and broking. It is likely to draw over 20,000 visitors, a big increase on last year's total of around 12,000. In addition to a large number of Hong Kong investors, Ms Chin believes there will be more visitors from the mainland. She explains that is because the event is scheduled close to China's "golden week" holiday, which is a peak season for travelling.

The Financial World Expo will serve as part of a financial planning week in early October. Prior to the exhibition, experts will be invited to take part in radio phone-in programmes to give advice to the general public.

The IFPHK was established in 2000 and currently has almost 3,400 members from diverse professional backgrounds, including banking, insurance, accounting and legal services. It is the body authorised to grant the professional qualification of certified financial plannerCM (CFPCM) in Hong Kong.

Taken from Career Times 24 June 2005, p. 18
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