Money Moves

Independent adviser offers trustworthy platform

by Alex Lai

Paul Pong, managing director
Pegasus Fund Managers Limited
Photo: Lewis Wong

One of Hong Kong's largest financial consultants believes that its flexible and client-focused service is helping to ease investor anxiety in the current financial crisis.

"People have lost a great deal of confidence they traditionally had in banks and are gradually shifting towards non-bank financial institutions," says Paul Pong, managing director, Pegasus Fund Managers Limited, a trusted financial house that was established 19 years ago.

The company has never exposed its clients to the risks posed by the controversial Lehman Brothers minibond derivative products snapped up by many Hong Kong investors early last year, and it shielded them from massive losses resulting from the structured derivatives known as "accumulators", Mr Pong stresses.

Pegasus has no affiliation with any fund houses, brokers or financial institutions. This neutrality enables the firm to put client interests first.

"We aim to provide our customers with quality service. Our priority is to select suitable products developed by other companies for clients who are seeking additional investment choices," Mr Pong points out.

There has been no decline in the demand for financial planning services and Pegasus is in fact hiring additional consultants.

"We act almost like a doctor or lawyer to analyse clients' entire financial portfolios. Interestingly, most Hong Kong people have a range of accounts scattered across a number of banks and different financial advisers," Mr Pong notes.

People should make sure their investments are diversified across a range of products with low correlation. Failure to do so can expose them to similar sets of risks, which can incur losses and starve them of cash flow, he adds.

Pegasus disapproves of overselling, Mr Pong emphasises. "By keeping our clients' interests in mind, we ensure that we advise them on suitable products. Over time, this also eliminates complaints," he says.

One of Pegasus' client-friendly services comes via a regular e-newsletter. This publication consolidates information from various fund houses, alongside analysis, recommendations, opinions and market forecasts in the area of wealth management by Pegasus.

With the Securities and Futures Commission and China Banking Regulatory Commission stringently regulating disclosure issues, the market has become more transparent. In the long run, Hong Kong's financial sector needs to focus on raising ethical standards and increasing corporate governance, Mr Pong believes.

"This is a tough call in the short term, but I am confident we can make it with the mainland China market to back us," he says.

Mr Pong has found that many clients view Pegasus as a trustworthy platform for seeking independent financial advice. "This is the current trend, and I believe it will strengthen further," he concludes.

Long-term view

  • Growing confidence in non-bank financial institutions
  • Investment markets more transparent
  • Keener focus on ethical standards and corporate governance

Taken from Career Times 20 February 2009, p. A4
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