Inside-Out with Associate Director, Wendy Koh
Twenty-three years ago, Spire Group’s Associate Director Wendy Koh made a pivotal career switch. A decision that would lead her into a path decorated with fulfilment and satisfaction. As a long-serving veteran in the financial advisory industry, Wendy has faced a multitude of challenges emerging from key historical events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis that affected all major financial institutions worldwide. With intrinsic passion and natural resilience molded together symbiotically, she has served as a mentor for many across all ages.
After excelling in Singapore Polytechnic whilst taking a Diploma in Banking and Finance, Wendy's first foray into the financial industry was as a banker in the now-defunct Overseas Union Bank (now UOB). Daring and inquisitive, in 1999, Wendy chose to step out of banking when she acknowledged her calling was based around helping clients directly. Upon hearing from a close friend about the financial services industry, Wendy subsequently joined AIA as a financial advisor. Brave and independent, she started to get to know clients from scratch by knocking on doors and introducing herself face to face, never faltering despite the general distaste towards financial advisors.
A firm believer in lifelong learning, Wendy continued honing her craft and persevered despite her struggles, ultimately garnering further trust and reputation. After a decade in AIA and seven years in Finexis, Wendy joined Spire Group as a financial advisor and rose to her current position.
Q: With experience as long and vast as yours, I am sure you would have dipped your hands into multiple fields. Is there any specific area that you specialise in?
A: Protection is of utmost importance. Protection of income in the event of disability, protection from unfortunate accidents, protection from expensive medical bills due to critical illnesses and many more. I relate strongly to the necessity of this; hence, I prefer to handle clients with protection related needs.
Q: Understandably, you would be meeting many clients from all walks of life. Are there any specific clients you interact with more than others?
A: I tend to support middle-income families and small businesses because I find myself relating to them more often than not. Their experiences and stories tend to strike me deeply. I am always excited to help them plan out for their future financially.
Q: On those difficult days, what pushes you forward to give your best to your clients?
A: The people I have had the satisfaction of assisting have always conferred their trust to me. Visualising it mentally, I like to portray it as a bustling two-way street with avenues in between leading outwards. That type of relationship can only develop if there is mutual trust. Seeing the results come up subsequently is just the by-product of the collative effort.
Q: Finally, Wendy, for all the new investors out there looking to stand on their own two feet, what do you suggest they do and not do to kickstart their investment portfolio?
A: In this time, when there are so many methods and ways to reach financial stability, I understand that it can, at times, get a little confusing and overwhelming. I have heard of many people falling into the trap of following what everyone else around them is doing despite not understanding the fundamentals. I stand firm on the principle of investing in items that you know. It can be something really simple but it needs to be something you have done your research on. After all, time in the market will always be better than timing the market!
Leading a simple life, Wendy lives with her husband and values the balance between work and life that she has developed. A fluid conversationalist, she enjoys inviting colleagues, friends and family over to play Mahjong or go on long walks whilst taking in the serenity of nature. Being an avid outdoor enthusiast, Wendy loves to travel and sightsee with one of her favourite places to visit being Japan. Always cheerful, colleagues at Spire Group describe her as a cornerstone due to her approachability and ever-positive outlook on life.
Wendy strongly believes in and follows the principles of 'just being herself' and 'consistency over rare days of excellency'. With her deep-seated genuineness and ceaseless hard work, it is no wonder that Wendy has received for the Court of Table award in the 2022 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) for her contributions. Congratulations Wendy and thank you for all your input!