Clients and key wealth advisors of financial consultant Opes met for the "Opesian Night", celebrating the turn of a decade for the company while sharing a glimpse of things to come.
An Opesian is someone who works with wealth," explains Dr. Chong Chee Way, the founder of Opes Consulting, a wealth management firm and licensed financial advisor. "At Opes, we view our clients as a whole financial system. But here, we create our own destiny."
Over the years, Opes has adapted its strategies to adapt to a changing global financial landscape and increasing demands. The investors of today no longer seek a safe haven or mere piggy bank for their assets; they demand growth even when markets are volatile.
"We had a defensive strategy for eight years - from 2005 to 2013. We went for zero risk investments. Even then, as we went through financial crisis after crisis, we felt helpless even though at our fund, there was no capital loss," says Chong.
Investing in the future
In 2014, Opes began looking for investments that could potentially outperform a sluggish market. At the top of the list were some firms that could go public in the future; this would provide Opes an opportunity to easily realize its investment and return dividends to its clients.
One of these investments was Sureplify, a web-based platform allows users to access, research and purchase insurance plans. Through a mobile app, users can compare quotes for top auto insurance providers in seconds.
Another was Packist.com, an online travel platform that aggregates the attractive travel packages offered by a large network of tour agencies. By connecting travelers with tour operators and travel agencies online, the website taps booming regional demand worth billions of ringgit every year.
"We want to become Asia Pacific's largest travel agency website," says Sky Lee, the ambitious 30-something executive who leads operations at Packist.com.
Stealing the show was FundIn, an Opes-owned platform that connects venture capitalists and asset owners seeking to raise funds. The new endeavour represents the company's thrust into the fast-growing world of venture capital funding. (2017 will likely see global venture capital deal value cross the $100 billion mark for the third year in a row and surpass 2016 as the best year for venture capital investing, predicts Antoine Drean, founder of Triago, Europe's first private equity placement agent.)
"FundIn represents the next step for investors that are on the lookout for quality assets and opportunities that have been assessed and evaluated by experienced business and financial experts," says Alvin Tan, who leads development at FundIn. "On our website, getting involved in a potential business opportunity begins with a simple click of a button."
While Opes invests in disruptive Internet businesses like Packist and FundIn, it has not ignored more conventional yet similarly attractive opportunities.
Property, "a long term game" as described by Siva Shanker, a real estate expert who spoke at the event, remains a core focus for the group. The key to good property investing, says Siva, is to "continuously study the market so you learn. Hold it long enough and prices will escalate." And, he adds, "don't be greedy."
“Opes continues to evaluate and pursue prospects to develop valuable properties or undertake joint developments,” says Edlyn Ong, who leads business and sales functions at the firm. The company expects to unveil a few new projects over the course of the year, she adds.
Since it was founded in 2010, Opes Consulting has specialised in defensive investing and low risk products. Unlike most conventional financial advisors in Malaysia, Opes does not point its customers toward retail investment products like fixed deposits. Instead, it seeks to generate its own returns by finding new assets such as property or businesses that could potentially offer much higher rates of return.
To learn more about Opes’ services, visit http://opes.my .