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PIS to boost Asian stake

By Victoria Young
2 minute read

The nation's largest licensee is aiming to grab a bigger stake in its Malaysian operation.

Professional Investment Services (PIS) plans to take advantage of major changes in the Malaysian financial services industry by expanding its business in the nation.

Malaysia has a population of 26.7 million and an expanding RM1 billion insurance industry.

The Malaysian Government caps foreign ownership of local companies at 30 per cent, but PIS managing director Grahame Evans believed the restriction would soon be lifted.

PIS owns 30 per cent of Malaysian business Standard Financial Planning (SFP). It has 280 advisers and offices in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.

"We would love to take our stake in SFP to 50 per cent. There seems to be a big change occurring in Malaysia, which is coming out of the securities commission," Evans said.

"The country is moving away from a tied agents model towards the situation where a person gets fully independent financial advice."

Bank Negara Malaysia head Alfred Sek planned to copy Australia's compliance regime, he said.

"The market is becoming more efficient and is transforming from an insurance base to a financial planning culture," he said.

PIS, which is Australia's largest financial planning group, is also active in China, having gained a licence to sell wealth management products in the country.

The group has around 1400 advisers and $15 billion in funds under management.