Protecting, growing the pot of gold

Mr Byron Lim and his siblings will eventually inherit their parents' wealth. The challenge of protecting and growing it led him to Bank of Singapore's next generation programme, which aims to teach heirs how to handle such responsibilities. Mr Lim is
Mr Byron Lim and his siblings will eventually inherit their parents' wealth. The challenge of protecting and growing it led him to Bank of Singapore's next generation programme, which aims to teach heirs how to handle such responsibilities. Mr Lim is also building his own business, a local craft coffee roaster called Quarter Life Coffee.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Recent graduate Byron Lim already has the heavy responsibility of preparing himself to carry on his family's wealth.

Mr Lim, 26, and his siblings will inherit the pot of gold his parents will eventually leave to them, but they will have to protect and grow the wealth for the next generation.

That challenge led him to Bank of Singapore's next generation programme, which aims to teach heirs how to handle such intimidating responsibilities.

Mr Lim said: "Growing up, I have always had a fairly comfortable life without much of an understanding of my family wealth.

"The thought of being entrusted with assets and finances that I have limited knowledge of or experience dealing with has always been daunting."

He is the second child in a family of six, with an older sister and two younger brothers.

Mr Lim cited an analogy: "I have a beautiful and expensive watch but have no idea how the inner workings are like to make the watch tick.

"I want to make sure that I am prepared to make proper decisions and have good judgment when it comes to managing wealth in the future."

He graduated with a degree in economics and finance from RMIT University in Melbourne, but noted that school was more about textbook learning and less about applying the knowledge in actual scenarios.

"After attending the (Bank of Singapore) programme, I have gained a better understanding of financial vehicles and tools and it has helped me be more analytical about the way I approach my own investments.

"I also gained a good understanding and knowledge of financial markets and this has helped me appreciate how my father has grown his own successful business."

His father runs an insurance brokerage here.

Mr Lim said he learnt how a private bank can help clients achieve wealth management goals.

He expects this, along with his better knowledge of the financial tools available, to help him communicate effectively with his banker in future.

Mr Lim is also building his own business, a local craft coffee roaster called Quarter Life Coffee.

He said the programme has encouraged him to continue to grow his business.

"I learnt a lot from the entrepreneurs we got to meet at the programme.

"I related to them the most - how they started with very little, and with a simple idea that did not look like it was going to become the next big venture capital investment."

He added that he will also work on his own small share portfolio: "I am looking at ways to expand my portfolio and be more aggressive in my investments."

Sue-Ann Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2020, with the headline 'Protecting, growing the pot of gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe