New expat advice biz launching in Cambodia

A new advisory business, TAG Wealth, is being established in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by two financial services executives, to help expatriates living there.

TAG Wealth is actually a representative office of Perth, Australia-based TAG Wealth International, which was incorporated there five years ago, according to Andy Willard, a Briton who founded and is running the business, alongside his Australian partner, Tony Herbert. (The name “TAG” is an acronym of Tony, Andy and Group).

Eventually, they are hoping to expand into other markets, such as Vietnam and Thailand, he said.

Willard said the two decided to launch their business after recognising the need for “reliable, independent financial planning services for expats” during humanitarian expeditions they and others working in Australia’s financial services industry carried out annually over the course of a number of years, which involved helping to build a school and setting up water treatment facilities for small villages.

Willard said TAG Wealth will offer the usual range of products and financial services expats typically require when outside of their home countries, including life insurance, estate planning, retirement planning, offshore banking, investments and other financial products.

Although precisely how many expatriates live in Cambodia isn’t known, there are more than you might expect, Willard said, with many employed by non-governmental organisations, schools, and a growing number of entrepreneurs and  international companies that are establishing a presence there.

TAG, which will have an office in Phnom Penh’s central business district not far from the city’s Independence Monument landmark, will look to cater to professional expats in particular, according to Willard, mainly of British, Australian and European nationality. It will offer a limited service as well to Americans, but won’t advise them on tax matters, and will steer  well clear of those areas known to be problematic for American expats, such as non-US investment funds.

The cornerstone of TAG’s expat offering, according to Willard, will be its portfolio review service, which he says it is already obvious many expats living in Cambodia can use. This is because they have “invariably already accumulated some [insurance and investment] products”, typically sold to them by “fly-in-fly-out” advisers from such regional financial centres as Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, “but they need to have someone make sure that these are right for them now, and that the underlying investments are correct”, he explained.

Willard started his career in financial services in London as a reinsurance broker at Lloyd’s of London in 1985, and says he moved over into financial services with J Rothschild Assurance in 1996, which later became St James’s Place. After moving to Australia for personal reasons in 2007, he continued to work in the industry for other companies until launching TAP in 2011.

Herbert has also had more than a decade of financial services experience, mainly as a mortgage broker and financial planner, and is Australian Securities and Investment Commission registered.

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