As one of the largest independently owned financial advisory firm in Singapore, finexis is known for its holistic wealth-management for its clients. The Redbrick Team had the opportunity for a coffee chat with Ms. Hoo Yin Teng, head of digital transformation of finexis. In this article, we delve into her personal journey that led her to her current role as the lead of the digitalisation team as well as the company’s unique traits that contributed to its success.
Q. Can you tell us more about yourself, and how you got to where you are today?
Yin Teng: I always encourage my team to work cohesively and yet, have individual empowerment to complete tasks. Since my younger days, I have always been independent and a pillar of support for my family and friends. With a knack for solving problems, I enjoy finding ways to be more efficient. That explains my role in digital transformation and digitalizing to optimize organizational productivity. Today, digital transformation is a different ballgame as I start to consider things at a wider spectrum, such as user experience and journey.
Q. What are some of the milestones you have reached on a personal level?
Yin Teng: Being independent and grasping the skill of problem-solving are two of my personal milestones that I believe contributed greatly to my career. Another important milestone is my personal growth, from where I started to have children of my own and build my own family. I believe the personal goals and the goals achievements that you set out for yourself would influence your career path.
Q. What does success mean to you?
Yin Teng: Success is subjective and depends on one’s definition. It could be career goals, or to get a higher income figure. To me, it would be a simple goal of loving myself. This means having time for myself and for my loved ones. I don’t think that success is necessarily based on career goals, but rather to achieve personal contentment.
Q. Would you consider yourself successful?
Yin Teng: Based on my definition of success; loving myself and having time for myself and my loved ones, I would say that I am still working towards the success I desire. It is very hard to say that anybody is successful at any point because we are constantly going after something, and it is a never-ending process. For me, I’m still working towards my definition of success.
Q. What are your hobbies, or one interesting fact about yourself that people don’t usually know?
Yin Teng: I like to do sewing, and I had a small home business previously. I bought a sewing machine, did some research, and self-taught myself the basics. Then I started with small projects like sewing baby carrier covers for other mothers in a common playgroup. I could transform a baby’s romper or blanket into a small teddy bear and repurpose other items that the children could no longer use.
One of the main reasons that kept me going was the motive to preserve the memories. Our time with children is fleeting – children grow up very quickly, and all that is left is memories. Through transforming a commonly used item into a keepsake, I want to help parents to retain the memory of their children.
Q. What is a regular workday like?
Yin Teng: Every day starts off with my daily meeting with my team at 9am. It helps my team to prioritise and refocus on their objectives and goals for the day. This also gives me the platform to help them with any challenges they may be facing.
Following that, it depends on my schedule and the projects I am working on. It is typically a lot of meetings and engaging with the management team. I also make it a point to time block every Friday afternoon, to allow me to have some time to work on my personal paperwork and to revisit the entire week as well as reprioritise and plan for the upcoming week. Although we have team meetings daily, regular check-ins with my team members on an individual basis are also very important, especially during Covid times when many have felt isolated.
Q. What are some of the important values that finexis prides itself with, and how would finexis’ consultants position themselves to be better when they meet clients?
Yin Teng: finexis is unique in its culture and the people in the organisation. The company truly lives up to its motto and the mission statement, which is “Impacting Lives Beyond Finance”. As a financial consultant, I am different from the other financial consultants because I value my customers holistically, and I care about their well-being as an individual, not just their finance.
I believe that this quality has made finexis stand out from its competition. We are the largest independently owned entity in the market, while many of our competitors have been acquired by insurance companies. This mode of running the business in such a genuine and holistic way has contributed to the success of finexis .
Q. How would you describe your current property of residence?
Yin Teng: I stay in a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) in the East, near Our Tampines Hub which has a wide range of amenities.
Q. What do you look out for when searching for a property?
Yin Teng: I think it really depends on the needs of your family at that point of time. For me, it is about everyone having their own comfort space. Besides convenience and location of schools, my priority would be for my family to have their own personal space.
Q. What do you think of the real estate industry in Singapore?
Yin Teng: I do think that overcrowding is becoming a problem and that the property market is always very hot. Although there is a property bubble once in a while, I believe it is a cyclical movement similar to how the economy works.
Q. Do you believe in leverage all you can or pay down as soon as you can?
Yin Teng: I think it’s more of how you manage your finances, as your circumstances matter more than your beliefs. Other considerations such as family commitments and current liabilities are also vital. Even if you were to maximise leverage, you have to consider how long it would take to repay the loan.
On the other hand, taking a short loan tenure would put strain on one’s finances as well. The key is how you manage your finances and meet your family needs.
Q. What kind of advice would you give to new homeowners and aspiring property investors?
Yin Teng: It all boils down to what the new homeowners require and what they want, depending on their lifestyles. For those starting a new family, they would need to consider the nearby schools, while others who prioritizes amenities may put a heavier emphasis on securing a location close to established facilities. At the end of the day, it really boils down to what is the homebuyer’s lifestyle and what they are looking for.
Q. Which is your favourite estate in Singapore and why?
Yin Teng: I have been staying in the East for the past 10 years. Siglap and Tanjong Katong area have been quite appealing to me since it is quite quiet and peaceful. While Tampines is rich in amenities, I would value a slower pace of life when my children grow up.