With more than two decades of experience advising expats in Hong Kong, David Bojan, managing director of H Capital, is well placed to advise on investments.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your firm.
I moved from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong in 1993 to join a Jardine Group Company, and then in 1997 formed Horwath Financial Services in partnership with the HK office of global accounting group, Horwath International. In 2007, Horwath Financial Services was acquired by a large Australian financial services group and following an internal restructure of that group in 2011 I had the opportunity to complete a management buyout with my business partner at the time, Charles Dickson, a Chartered Accountant and very long-term Hong Kong resident. Unfortunately, Charles suffered a stroke a few years ago and retired from the business. During the past few years, I’ve restructured the company and rebranded as H Capital. H Capital consists of a small number of like-minded, experienced individuals all of whom have been working in the industry (and Hong Kong) for several years – including a highly respected and award-winning financial planner. Collectively, we provide a wide range of financial services on a fee basis and primarily devote most of our time to managing investment portfolios for (mostly individual) clients.
What are insurance-linked investment plans and how common are they in Hong Kong?
Insurance Linked Investment Plans, known generically as ILAS, are very common indeed. The main objective is to facilitate investments into underlying investment funds either with a one-off lump sum or regular (usually monthly) contributions. At H Capital, we don’t necessarily advocate the use of ILAS these days, but we can certainly help people who have existing ILAS plans.
What are some of the issues you encounter with these types of plans when clients come to see you?
Over the years, ILAS costs have gradually declined and most plans have become more flexible, but in the old days many ILAS plans were expensive and loaded in favour of commission-based sales. Unfortunately, this encouraged a sales culture with very little, if any, ongoing advice in relation to the choice of underlying investment funds. While charges are an issue, the main issue is to have investments in the right place at the right time. There are many, many people in Hong Kong (and Asia) who have an ILAS or two, which may have performed poorly. The solution to making this money work harder, as mentioned earlier, is to ensure the money is invested in a suitable range of funds commensurate with the individual’s risk preference and of course with due regard to personal objectives and market timing. That’s where H Capital steps in – with appropriate initial and ongoing advice provided in a transparent, feebased (no commissions) manner.
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This article first appeared in the Aug/Sep 2017 edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.
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