Colemen Lee has been advising in Australia for just one year, and has just been awarded the Outstanding New Wealth/Investment Adviser Award at Australia’s Private Banking and Wealth Awards.
He considers himself a new breed of Asian-born Australian financial advisers, and says he is focused on educating migrant clients on the importance of advice and the role of the local adviser.
“In the Advice industry, strategy recommendations are not the most difficult part of the job,” says Lee. “The most challenging part is breaking down client perceptions about advice and knowing how to help them identify their needs.”
“This is complicated further because many local advisers do not know how to communicate with “them” – not because of language but because they incorrectly assume clients understand the underlying strategy or concept.”
As a wealth adviser for Westpac Private Bank, Lee uses his own experience as a new migrant, to provide others with someone they can trust, who understands their culture. A vital part in advising Asia’s “first generation of wealthy individuals” is to understand what happened to them in the past 20 years, as well as the legacy they want to leave behind, says Lee.
He is also trying to get rid of the “fear and greed” that dominates most clients’ thoughts. “Surprisingly, I found the beauty of financial planning is not looking for higher investment return but the disciplined approach to ensure we can achieve our goal in a systemic way…, I try to help clients to reduce the degree of “fear and greed” by providing a framework for them to follow and let them understand and accept what will happen.”
Lee said that winning the award proved that focusing deeply on a niche client segment in Private Banking, “truly pays dividends".
So how would Lee sum it up in one sentence? “I’m a financial doctor, who looks after other people’s wealth while a medical doctor looks after other people’s health.”