Why Being an Independent Financial Adviser Can Be Fulfilling Career?

Special thanks to Financial Alliance’s Corporate Development Director, MK Chan, for sharing his knowledge and experience to make this article possible. – Written by Malcolm Mejin, the Financial Alliance Writing Team   Are you stuck in a career rut? Are you a banker or a tied agent who’s hoping for a career with real job satisfaction? Among the possibilities out there, you may have even considered joining an independent financial adviser . But what does independent mean, and how will it benefit you in the long run? Firstly, independent financial advisers (“IFAs”) are organisations whose professionals (also known as representatives) offer independent financial advice to their clients and recommend suitable options from a wide range of financial products. According to Financial Alliance founder Vincent Ee, IFAs offer unbiased financial advice, always acting in the best interests of their clients. “Being “independent”, IFAs are not tied to any particular financial product as opposed to a personal banker or an insurance agent.”   He pointed out that even though insurance agents, personal bankers, and IFAs work in a similar capacity in the financial advisory industry, their roles are different. Mr. Ee explained that insurance agents (also known as tied agents) are appointed representatives of their insurance companies. Acting in the best interests of their insurance companies, they only recommend products offered by their companies. For example, Prudential agents will only sell products from Prudential. As for personal bankers, they represent the bank they work for. They only recommend products offered by their bank. However, they may also sell products from life insurance companies that their bank has partnered with. He added, “Even though independent financial adviser representatives only recommend products from the IFA firms they represent, their recommendations are based on a much wider range of products because IFA firms work with not just one – but many – product providers, such as life insurance companies, investment houses and platforms. With a much wider base to work from, their advice is not biased in favour of any single product provider.” IFA firms also offer benefits that non-independent firms do not:

Flexibility to Customise Products

IFA representatives provide customised advice and recommendations based on clients’ needs. IFAs are not tied to any particular insurance or investment product, so their representatives have the flexibility to offer a wider range of customised options to their clients than an insurance agent or a personal banker. Going independent also offers the freedom to structure a business model that fits both the IFA representatives and their clients.

Deeper Personal Relationships with Clients

Most IFA representatives forge deeper, personal relationships with their clients, as they build a strong understanding of their clients’ situations in the long run. This often leads to a relationship that’s more responsive, attentive and personal.

Greater Support and Services

Some IFA firms have also better infrastructure, and technological support and services at their disposal to help enhance productivity and optimise results. According to Mr. Ee, Financial Alliance is well-equipped with the latest technology and infrastructure to assist IFAs in their tasks. “Most of our consultants are able to work efficiently due to the comprehensive business operations support that we provide to facilitate their tasks, leading to greater job satisfaction.”

Get to Self-Plan Working Schedule

IFA representatives become their own bosses. By being able to plan their own working schedule, IFA representatives enjoy a more flexible career and lifestyle. Instead of being tied to a nine-to-five job, they have the freedom and flexibility of planning their working schedules in order to achieve their desired work-life balance. Benefits-wise, being an IFA representative sounds appealing, and for those considering it as a career, Mr. Ee has a nugget of wisdom, “You must have a strong desire for success. With that desire, you must constantly push yourself to do what’s right and best for your clients. You also must be willing to embrace the “independent” business model in order to be truly independent.” On career viability as an IFA representative, he added, “You win the competition most of the time because you have a wider range of options as opposed to a non-independent agent. You have stronger product offerings that are better suited to your clients’ needs.” However, as attractive as it sounds, Mr. Ee said that this job may be challenging for some. “It’s not an easy job. You need to have personable traits, such as confidence, when dealing with clients.” On making a career decision, Mr. Ee remarked that choosing the right place to start amidst the diverse career choices available today is the key. So if you’re thinking of becoming a representative at an IFA firm as your next career move, do know that it may not come easy. However, by developing the right mindset and attitude, you’ll find yourself on the path to achieve a fulfilling career as an IFA representative.

Financial Alliance Singapore

If you think you have what it takes to be an independent financial adviser representative, you’re welcome to join Financial Alliance, Singapore’s largest independent financial advisory firm who has won many awards – including getting certified as a Singapore Quality Class Star company and a People Developer – and built a solid reputation in the financial advisory industry. Stay connected to our Facebook page by liking us to be notified when the next article is published.


Important: The information and opinions in this article are for general information purposes only. They should not be relied on as professional financial advice. Readers should seek independent financial advice that is customised to their specific financial objectives, situations & needs. This advertisement or publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Published By:

Koh Nya See Jacqueline

Jacqueline started her financial planning journey with as an agent with a Tied Agency in 1997. Over time, as the insurance industry became more competitive and clients’ needs evolved, she saw the importance of improving customer experience by offering more well-rounded advice and customised products that would appeal to her clients at a deeper level.

In 2007, she joined Financial Alliance as an Associate Director as she is aligned with their vision of providing a service that is both balanced and unbiased. In doing so, she created an autonomous and productive team of her own.

Under her leadership, Jacqueline’s team grew in size and business has thrived. Today, she has 19 Advisory Associates under her management.

Perhaps the reasons for her team’s prominence and for people taking the plunge to join her are because of her candor, affection, and the consideration she has for her team members and clients.

The insurance industry is one of the most dynamic and complex industries in Singapore, but Jacqueline has made her agency flourish by staying agile and flexible, and she has kept up with all the changes by staying abreast of emerging technologies and trends.

Jacqueline’s commitment is that she will always be unselfish with her own time and her own energy in order to support her team members. This is based on her belief in helping them discover financial success by trusting them and motivating them to do their best.

If Jacqueline’s nurturing way resonates with you, come and learn more about how you can be part of her team.


Contact Me

What type of services are you looking for? 请问您需要咨询哪些方面的服务?(Please select all that applies)


By submitting this form, I confirm that


  • I have read and understood FAPL’s Personal Data Policy, and hereby give my acknowledgement and consent to FAPL to use my personal data in accordance with FAPL’s Personal Data Policy.
  • 我已阅读并理解鑫盟理财私人有限公司的个人数据保护政策,并同意鑫盟理财私人有限公司根据个人数据保护政策所阐述的用途使用我的个人资料。
  • I have read and understood the disclaimers above and hereby affirm my acceptance of these terms.
  • 我已阅读并理解了上述免责声明,特此声明接受这些条款。
  • I have not been directly contacted or approached by any representative or employee of FAPL with an offer or solicitation to apply for any financial products not offered in my home country.
  • 鑫盟理财私人有限公司的代表或员工并未直接与我联系或提出要约或招揽购买我原居住国境内所不提供的任何金融产品.
  • Financial Alliance Pte Ltd ( “FAPL”) is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) and allowed to conduct financial advisory activities in accordance with the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (“FAA”) and the Securities & Futures Act (Cap. 289) (“SFA”) within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Singapore and in accordance with the licenses granted by MAS
  • 鑫盟理财私人有限公司( “鑫盟理财”)持有由新加坡金融管理局(“MAS”)所颁发的牌照,并许可在新加坡共和国境内依据财务顾问法(第110章)和证券与期货交易法(第289章)进行财务咨询等相关业务
  • Any services provided by FAPL to persons not ordinarily resident in Singapore are provided solely on an offshore basis from Singapore, resulting from direct enquiry on the part of the foreign residents.
  • 鑫盟理财为非新加坡居民所提供的任何服务仅限于直接向鑫盟理财发出咨询请求的国外居民。
  • As an integral part of the provision of such services, FAPL may from time to time make available to such residents, documents and information making reference to capital markets products (for example, in connection with the provision of fund management or investment advisory services outside of the foreign jurisdiction).
  • 作为提供此类服务的一部分,鑫盟理财会不时向此类咨询者提供有关产品的参考文件和信息(例如,关于海外司法管辖区以外的资金管理或投资咨询服务等信息)。
  • Such documents and information are provided by Financial Alliance Pte Ltd (“FAPL”) is for general information only and is not intended for anyone other than the recipient.
  • 此类由鑫盟理财所提供的文件和信息仅供收件人做一般信息参考。
  • It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person.
  • 此类文件和信息不会把-个人投资目标,财务状况或其特定需求等考虑在内。
  • It does not constitute the making available of, or an offer or solicitation by FAPL to buy or sell or subscribe for any such capital markets product or to enter into a transaction or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy nor an advice or a recommendation with respect to such financial products.
  • 鑫盟理财向该人士提供此类文件和信息将不构成要约或招揽购买或出售或认购任何此类资本市场产品,或达成交易或参与任何特定的投资策略,也不构成有关此类金融产品的建议或推荐。
  • These documents may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part to any other person without FAPL’s prior written consent.
  • 未经鑫盟理财的事先书面同意,不得将这些文件全文或部分发布,传播,复制或分发给其他人。
  • This document is not intended for distribution to, publication or use by any person in any jurisdiction, where such distribution, publication or use would be contrary to applicable law or would subject FAPL and its related corporations, connected persons, associated persons and/or affiliates to any registration, licensing or other requirements within such jurisdiction.
  • 鑫盟理财无意在分发,出版或使用此类文件可能违反当地法律,或本公司及关联公司或关联人士需要注册,获得许可或符合规定的司法权区向当地人士分发、出版此类文件或供其使用。
  • You shall ensure that you have and will continue to be fully compliant with all applicable laws in your home country when entering into discussion or contracts with FAPL.
  • 在与鑫盟理财进行讨论或签订合约时,您应确保您已完全遵守并将继续遵守您所在原居住国的所有适用法律及条规。

In compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act, Financial Alliance Pte Ltd (“FAPL”) seek your consent to collect and use your personal data (e.g. name, NRIC, contact numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses and photograph) for the purposes of and in accordance with FAPL’s Data Protection Policy, which can be found on FAPL’s website at https://fa.com.sg/data-protection-policy/.

根据《个人数据保护法》,鑫盟理财私人有限公司征求您的同意向您收集并使用您的个人信息。鑫盟理财将根据公司的个人数据保护政策所阐述的用途使用您的个人资料(例如姓名,证件号码,联系电话,邮寄地址,电邮地址和照片)。 该政策可在本公司网站上查寻,网址为 https://fa.com.sg/data-protection-policy/.

By submitting this form, you are deemed to have read and understood FAPL’s Personal Data Policy.


Scan for Contact Details

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on our latest content!

By providing the info below, I confirm that I am the user and/or subscriber of the telephone number(s) and email address provided by me and I consent to receive from Financial Alliance and/or its financial adviser representatives, any marketing, advertising and promotional information organise by Financial Alliance via voice calls, SMS/MMS (text messages) or faxes to my telephone number(s) provided below. I understand I may withdraw any consent I have given at any time by writing in to Financial Alliance Pte Ltd.

Scan for WeChat QR

Retirement Planning

Will I be able to retire comfortably?