Let’s find out more about MFA A-lister Kaiser Tan, Court of the Table member of Million Dollar Round Table. Find out who has inspired him most, how he chanced upon his passion for this career, and how he works hard and plays harder!
How would people describe you in three words?
Calm, Tenacious and a Pathfinder.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My director and mentor, Mr Kelvin Hong. We share a similar background growing up and I can really relate to the teachings he has imparted to me, both in work and in life. He is the very reason why I chose this industry even when I had many other options; some seemingly better. His teachings always preach taking the high road no matter the difficulties faced, which strongly aligns with my personal beliefs as this will ultimately build a lasting and successful business.
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Grizzly bear. It is determined and ferocious when it needs to be, but still has a chill side.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
Antarctica - the vast plains of ice and emptiness would make for a really nice place to stop and think for a while. Sort of like a reset button for all the chaos we experience in daily life.
What is a skill you'd like to learn and why?
I would like to learn how to repair cars. Racing and cars has been my interest since young.
If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would trade lives with the head of underwriting at Manulife, to learn more about the other side of this business and provide a better perspective to my clients.
What do you do on your days off?
Sleep to recharge, and work on my other interests.
When did you realise that you wanted to be a financial services consultant? What has changed since you first started?
I realised I wanted to join this line after taking a university module, called personal financial planning, in Canada. I was on an exchange programme and since the grades did not really matter I wanted to try it out. I was intrigued at my own personal effort to do well for the projects and grades for this module, which made me realise my real interest for this kind of work.
Nothing much has changed since I first started. If any, my determination to do well has increased as I want to dispel the social stigma behind this career in Singapore.
What was the first assignment that has left the biggest mark on you?
The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was a consultation done for one of my relatives. They needed health and life insurance badly and they could easily afford it, but both he and his wife were too unhealthy to get any. It was a desperate situation, but constantly reminds me of this saying: you buy insurance with your good health, your money merely pays for it.
From your own experience, define what is it like to be a financial services consultant?
One must be able to withstand being a purveyor of unpopular insights now, so that in the future, you may be the ray of sunshine during your clients’ storms.
Define what being an A-Lister means:
Additional pressure to continually do well.
What makes you different from your peers?
The tenacity to endure this additional pressure.
How do you define success?
Success is a state of mind for me, rather than something attained. It is to be constantly seeking to perfect your craft, even though you know this journey is endless.
What’s your philosophy in life?
Play hard, work hard. “Rock and roll” according to my mentor!
What is the best thing about being a Court of the Table member?
I get the loudest shoutout of my achievements on the best platform in this industry.
Stay tuned for more inspiring insights and exclusive Q&A segments with our MFA A-listers!