The determination to move forward towards bigger ventures within the financial field epitomizes the career path of Terry Yee. As the CEO of Capspring Temasik Financial Group, a BNM-approved financial advisory firm within Malaysia, Yee has come a long way starting from an auditing apprenticeship and later chief financial officer to a multi-million sales force. The shift from the world of numbers towards interacting with people has resulted in a satisfying lifelong career in financial advisory services. In an interview, Yee talks about his entrepreneurial journey in setting up Capspring Temasik Financial Group, the financial advisory services industry and the future prospects of the company.
The intrepid dynamics of the financial industry has shaped Terry Yee’s career path from working in corporations towards setting up his own entrepreneurship, Capspring Temasik Financial Group. An Ipoh boy, Yee’s background consisting of a tight-knit family of parents and four siblings was a typical middle-class life. “We are a close family and constantly do things together,” comments Yee. “My father is an accountant and it looks like figures run in the family as both my brother and I are in the same field.” An affable personality, Yee interjects humour into the conversation every now and then.
“I did the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) based on the false presumption it would be easy but it turned out to be otherwise,” Yee smiles as he talks about his educational credentials.
With an ACCA in hand, working in international and local corporations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas) and SAAG provided the required financial industry knowledge and experience. Yee left the corporate world in 2004 and joined the insurance domain as a life insurance agent.
“I felt life could be more interesting interacting with people rather than figures,” recollects Yee. “And it has turned out to be the best decision I have made in terms of a lifelong career.” Working in various sectors and levels of the industry and achieving results as a premier wealth planner was a personal satisfaction by itself. The industry awards received, including the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), illustrates Yee’s success story within the insurance field.
Having achieved recognition within the insurance field, the vision to provide a greater range of services for customers saw the formation of the Capspring Temasik Financial Group in 2012 with a few close friends. “As a newcomer, penetrating the commercial sector was challenging during the early days,” says Yee. “But we persisted and now we have a wide range of established clients extending from government-linked companies (GLCs) and public listed companies to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”
“Our initial goal was limited to a moderate range of services but since then we have expanded based on the good industry potentials,” remarks Yee. “We have identified our main target markets encompassing both conventional and takaful solutions.”
The company, supported by 20 financial advisors, has expanded into the East Coast with a branch in Kota Bharu. It also has a full range of international and local fund houses as associated partners. “As for milestones, we have consistently achieved above 30% sales growth annually since we started,” reveals Yee. His management style is modern and progressive, leaning towards a consultative approach.
The challenges the company faces include time, technology and public perception. “The industry is highly dynamic with a myriad of opportunities that require time for the realisation of revenue,” explains Yee. “The advent of the digital technologies and changing the public perception of financial advisers are other challenges we have to overcome.”
The inspiration for taking the company further is to build an established reputation for good advisory services and simultaneously as a caring employer. “My vision is for Capspring Temasik to be a household name and the industry leader in our field,” says Yee.
As for work-life balance, Yee explains, “I try my best to balance my work and personal life especially with my two children, a 14-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. This normally happens at dinner times, weekends and holidays.”
Yee’s advice for the younger people is to work hard, have faith in yourself and embrace filial piety.