Wayne Has Redefined Financial Planning For Financial Advisors
What’s your story?
I always wanted to start a business, so when I began my career as a financial adviser, my goal was to hone my sales skills, for a year, as I felt that these skills were key to a successful business. I soon realised that there was hardly any digitalisation in the insurance industry because there were hardly any digital tools available. Financial advisors still used pen and paper at consultations with clients. This limited conversations to being able to only discuss a single goal, such as retirement. But, life does not happen in silos. I wanted to create a solution that enabled people to better understand their ability to financially achieve multiple goals, such as saving for their children’s education fees, retirement, as well as other needs. So I developed Singapore’s first and only Fintech tool for financial planners, GoalsMapper.
What excites you most about your industry?
I feel that financial planning is very important because it is linked with almost every aspect in a person’s life. Yet, it can be extremely complex. My biggest motivation is helping individuals gain greater clarity over their finances. Knowing that we are able to impact the industry positively and help people to better understand their financial situation excites and drives me to continue our work.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’ve lived in Singapore my entire life. GoalsMapper is currently available in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This means that I travel frequently to different Asian cities. Asia is a very attractive region because of the diversity in culture and language. It is also a market that is not easy to penetrate because of this diversity. I love the Asian economy and Singapore is a gateway to Asia. Thus, I see it as a key market.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I feel that every city offers different opportunities for business. As long as I am able to bring value and serve people in that city, I think anywhere is fine for business.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In my early years as an entrepreneur, I attended a course on setting goals for the business. One of the pillars mentioned was an innovation. In business, the best advice that I got was to innovate, focus on good leadership, build a great team, have processes in place, and serve customers well. My personal motto is to love and respect everyone — to give and to serve in any way that I can.
Who inspires you?
Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew inspires me. He was a legend in being able to transform Singapore. His books inspire me. The way he managed the country and attracted foreign investment is akin to running a business, on a much larger scale. I feel that his ability to build up Singapore’s human capital as a natural resource is remarkable. This makes me see the importance of nurturing, developing, and empowering human capital in everything we do.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The recent pandemic has caused many changes and it has also created many opportunities. Seeing how organisations quickly adapt to changes makes me realise the importance of good leadership, an agile and committed team, and a good company culture. These three factors will enable businesses to better overcome adversity.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Looking back, I would encourage my younger self to not take failure too seriously and to pick myself up and persevere. When I was younger, I was selected to represent my school in a table tennis tournament. I was one of the youngest kids chosen to compete. I did not do as well as I expected and lost the game. I felt extremely dejected. When I was 18 years old, I failed in my first business. I think I gave up too easily. If I could turn back time, I would have committed myself more to making things work.
How do you unwind?
Being active helps me unwind. I go for a weekly game of either basketball or futsal.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan for the food and massage. I enjoy street food, local delicacies, and massage.
Everyone in business should read this book:
For people looking to pursue entrepreneurship, “Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom,” by Robert Kiyosaki, made me realise that I really wanted to start a business.
For people who are already in business, I am currently reading a chinese book called “高情商管理” on leadership, managing teams, and organisations which I think is essential for every business owner.
Shameless plug for your business:
GoalsMapper™ is a fintech company in Singapore with the vision to redefine financial planning through its real-time, scenario-based, and customer-facing financial planning software. We were awarded “InsurTech of the Year” by the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards, 2019. The platform enables advisors to simultaneously plan and account for multiple financial goals. Financial advisors simply key in their client’s information, such as a housing mortgage, children’s education expenses, their ideal retirement ages, and the platform will generate charts that enable them to visualise the cash that they require to achieve these life goals.
How can people connect with you?
My LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dato-wayne-chen-zaoxiang-373438a9/
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 1000 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.