The 2016 GAIA Conference was held in Singapore at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on April 19 & 20.
The key theme for the conference was to define the group’s future by pursuing clarity about where members currently stood, and most importantly, the standards for membership as well as GAIA’s core purpose and direction.
Inaugural Chair, Peter Mancell, welcomed attendees before facilitating the first session where the group was updated on the progress of the GAIA Working Committee. This sub-group had established the groups international registrations, trademarks and branding, along with the referral processes for prospective members and an information collation hub for GAIA.
Next was a vibrant session where each firm discussed their biggest challenge and opportunity with feedback from other member firms.
Then the day’s discussion moved back to future strategy and planning. The key questions asked revolved around the collaborative opportunities available between firms, what each firm wanted from GAIA, the resources each firm could offer to support the development of GAIA, potential challenges and how these could be overcome and the goals the GAIA group set for itself across a 1 to 5 year time frame.
Key goals set across the time:
1 year: CEFEX accreditation for all member firms.
3 years: Appointing an executive director.
5 Years: Target for an optimum membership (possibly 24 members) across all major regions.
The membership resolved that GAIA should be a group pursuing world’s best practice where all client firms enjoy superior outcomes through the delivery of unconflicted, evidence-based investment advice and wealth management. It was also established that GAIA should also be a forum for thought leadership in wealth management, with annual conferences delivering the highest quality content, augmented by building strong personal relationships across member firms.
It was also agreed that GAIA would grow carefully over the next five years and a development plan was put in place to pursue the other short and long term goals.
Lastly we took the opportunity to meet with some of the leading Singaporean wealth management firms and they saw some very interesting learnings from what proved to be a very different marketplace.