The Man Behind Spire
Never one to back away from challenges, David Tang has always juggled with character & grit the dual role in his business - providing his clients with the advice they require to build a stronger financial future, all whilst being a dedicated mentor to his team of financial advisers. '天降大任于斯人也，必先苦其心志，劳其筋骨，饿其体肤, 空泛其身。'
In 2017, David moved to Synergy Financial Advisers (SFA) and assumed the position of Director of The Spire Group. By creating this agency, he embarked on his dream of building up a world class agency of professional, competent financial advisers to help individuals ‘fulfill dreams’ and ‘enrich lives’. Both from the perspective of the adviser and their clients. 'Our purpose at The Spire Group is that we want to be “fulfilling dreams, enriching lives”, whether it is our agency providing the support and platform for our advisers to do so or our advisers providing this for their clients through their quality advice.’ David Tang, 44, grew up in a 4 room HDB flat. He has 1 sibling and recalls living simply & thriftily with his father, a taxi-driver & mother, a factory worker. Life was not rosy but David was always optimistic about life in general. 'We didn’t have much, but we still knew how to be happy as a family.'
It is perhaps this humble beginnings that helped him develop the tenacity & fortitude required to overcome challenges later on in his life. It is also this less privileged lifestyle that opened up his eyes to the need for financial planning & to define life in his own terms instead of accepting life as was presented to him.
'I remember taking an extremely crowded and uncomfortable bus to school one morning in my JC days and I caught myself thinking: “what if I have to do this every day for the rest of my life?” The thought genuinely spooked me. Right there and then I realized that I have to decide my life. Not my circumstances. As early as my NS days, I got my motorbike license and was riding to work.'
And challenges were aplenty as tragedy struck early. David had to learn early the dangers of critical illnesses as his own mother came down with cancer when he was still schooling in university. On top of schoolwork, David had to take up 3 part time jobs to help the family make ends meet as his family was not financially ready for the sudden ordeal. 'It was a difficult period in my life. Adequate insurance planning or financial planning wasn’t as well educated back then (it is still not widespread enough even now, in my opinion). But it is a lesson that’s etched deeply in my heart. Not only did I suffer, my family, and my mother especially, suffered much more.' David Tang graduated in 2000 from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Bachelor Degree in Arts & Social Sciences majoring in Sociology. Yet strangely enough, he has managed to etch out an impressive career over 20 years in wealth management and financial planning. 'I always believe that a degree only represents your ability to learn. Everything else you learn on the job or gain through life experiences. The most important thing is to be ready when opportunity strikes.'
In his 20 years in the wealth management arena, David has been in banks such as Deutsche Private Bank & Standard Chartered. Insurance company Great Eastern Life, and Financial Advisory firms (FAs) such as Professional Investment Advisory Services (PIAS) and finexis. Since his stint in SFA in 2017, The Spire Group has grown from strength to strength. 'You could say I’m a risk taker. When I feel that I’m no longer growing or not developing as a person or a leader, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider my options. I was in finexis for 8 years and had very fond memories there but still moved on once I was sure my growth was not aligned to theirs.' David has a firm belief that most humans under-develop or “stagnate” the potential inside us. This desire to develop people and bring the best out of them led him to start grooming a team since 2009 which has developed into a highly-qualified, award winning group of consultants. 'When I look at my team members, all I see is masses of unfulfilled potential. Some more unfulfilled than others of course. But so much human potential to be released. And I take it that it is some form of quest for me to unleash them. It is what I think my duty is all about.' 2019 was another breakthrough year for The Spire Group as the team hit new heights both in terms headcount & premiums collected. It was also a milestone year for David Tang as he completed his lifetime member status for the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). Congratulations all round! 'It’s been a bumpy but good 20 years. We managed to do some good in this world. Let’s hope for an even better 20 years so that we can touch more lives and do more good in the world!'