Date: Mar 2012
They started talking about the idea of an Association in Singapore, given that there are two similar bodies in Switzerland with over 700 members.
She explained that there are two main issues in Singapore. First, there is a lack of knowledge about what an EAM does, the value it adds, and how it can function within such a competitive wealth management environment.
Secondly, a lot of regulations which apply to private banks or fund management companies are not necessarily relevant to EAMs, said Hui. So there is a need for a united body to represent industry players to discuss, communicate and negotiate their positions.
The main objective of the AIAM, said Hui, is to present the EAM business model to everyone who does not yet understand what it is.
This involves promoting, educating and communicating the specific uniqueness and added value that these firms can offer to the banks, other advisers and the broader investment community who might want EAMs to manage their wealth.
Also, she said the aim is to set a certain standard and uphold the integrity and ethics of people in this line of business.
For example, said Hui, one bad sheep in the EAM industry will destroy the credibility that has been built up, so it is important to prevent this from happening.
This is done by holding forums and quarterly meetings to help bridge any gaps. The AIAM also aims to reach all industry practitioners with one voice in response to regulations, and make it clear how other players in the industry can assist EAMs in their growth.
Becoming a member of the AIAM
To become an ordinary member, a firm must have a primary business as an EAM, said Hui. Family offices, for example, are not excluded unless their main business is being a family office.
To become an associate member, anybody can do so if they want to become part of the AIAM because they are either service provider or they have common interests aligned with ordinary members, such as banks, software firms, information providers or training companies.
To become a member, firms can apply online at www.aiam.org.sg and follow the various instructions, she added.