THE FINANCIAL advisory industry in Malaysia is set to receive a boost with the launch of the first fee-for-service Financial Advisory Mentoring programme in Malaysia by Whitman Independent Advisors, with the support of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM) and the Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC).

This is in line with the current need to create awareness and nurture more fee-for-service financial advisory professionals in Malaysia.

Present at the event last week were FPAM CEO Linnet Lee, MFPC executive director Chung Kar Yin and Whitman managing director Yap Ming Hui.

The facilitation of a mentoring programme for aspiring financial advisors is an industry game changer. It addresses present industry gaps such as the need for practical hands-on training and knowledge transfer which is crucial to professional development and progression.

Such issues have prevented many of our certified members from providing comprehensive fee-for-service financial advice, said Lee.

Under the fee-for-service Financial Advisory Mentoring programme, certified financial planning professionals such as Certified Financial Planners (CFP CERT TM) and Registered Financial Planners (RFP) will be given the opportunity to be mentored by a team of senior Independent Financial Advisors (IFA) from Whitman Independent Advisors for six months.

During the six-month mentoring period, CFP professionals and RFP graduates will be exposed to the experience of working with fee-paying clients using the proprietary Money Optimisation System TM developed by Whitman.

They will gain comprehensive hands-on training that is designed to equip them with the necessary exposure, skills and expertise to advance in their fee-for-service financial advisory profession.

As a proponent and pioneer of fee-for-service advisory, Whitman is prepared to take a leading role supporting the goal of our regulators and professional associations to nurture fee-for-service financial advisory practitioners and make a truly positive impact in the industry.

We are prepared to share our 16 years of experience as a successful fee-for-service financial advisory firm that has been able to stay lsquo;true to the label and thrive in this nascent industry, said Yap.

The lack of experience and confidence in offering holistic independent financial advisory services has resulted in the financial advisory industry being dominated by commission-led activities, where industry players are mainly focused on selling multiple products in return for commissions instead of commanding a professional fee, he added.

Financial planning was introduced in Malaysia since early 2000, and in many ways, the growth of fee-for-service financial advisory services has been slower than desired due to various challenges facing practitioners.

These challenges include the ability to deliver comprehensive financial planning solutions to clients and addressing the perceived negative response from the Malaysian public toward paying fees for financial advice, said Chung.

To kick off the fee-for-service Financial Advisory Mentoring Programme, Whitman Independent Advisors with the support of MFPC and FPAM, is organising the 2016 Money Optimisation Summit at Sime Darby Convention Centre on July 30.

The one-day industry-driven conference aims to share the best and proven practices from leading players in South-East Asia, offer solutions on how financial services professionals can relook the way they address the challenging demand of the Malaysian middle-class and ultimately transform and grow their businesses to the next level.