Christopher Tan, CFP®, ACTS
Chief Executive Officer
Christopher always knew he wanted to be a wealth adviser, even when wealth advisers did not exist as an available career option in 1998. Hence, he started his financial career with an insurance company in Singapore, thinking that it would provide him with the relevant skills as a wealth adviser. Christopher picked up the ropes relatively quickly and was the second rookie agent of the year. By his third year, he was among the top 25 producers of that insurance company.
While he was earning good money, he was frustrated and unhappy because he knew that he wasn’t learning anything related to wealth management and that he was just selling insurance products. He couldn’t do anything but insurance.
In his own words, he said “It’s like I’m a contractor who can create a very nice home design for you, but I am only a carpenter, so the only thing I can recommend to you is carpentry work, because that’s all I make money from.”
A turning point occurred when he read an article about US financial planner Suze Orman and her view that whole life insurance was basically poison. Christopher was shaken by her perspective, having sold many whole life policies to his clients but was even more surprised when he did his own research and realized she was right.
The revelation made Christopher even more determined to pursue true wealth management and he left the company after 6 months when he realized that he could not do what he felt was right. A number of his former colleagues found out what he planned to do, and decided to quit their jobs to join him in his venture. So in 2001, Providend was formed.
Since the beginning of his career in the wealth management industry, Christopher has spoken to hundreds of entities, educating them on personal financial planning issues. He is an internationally sought-after speaker and has also spoken on financial planning issues to hundreds of entities, both local and overseas, including at the CFA Institute Annual Conference held in Singapore.
With more than two decades of experience in the wealth management and financial planning industry, Christopher is often quoted in the local press, as well as financial magazines for his expert opinion on financial matters. He contributes regularly to periodicals such as The Business Times, The Edge, The Straits Times, The Sunday Times, and other publications. Channel NewsAsia, CCTV, Channel 5, and Channel 8 have also interviewed him on issues relating to personal finance.
Professionally, Christopher is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Singapore. He sat on the Management Committee of Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (SIAS) from 2009 to 2017 and in 2014 was appointed by the Singapore Government to be part of the CPF Advisory Panel. In June 2020, Christopher has also obtained the Advanced Certificate in Trust Services (ACTS) from Wealth Management Institute, Nanyang Technological University.
Besides being financially trained, Christopher is also an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and a Certified Emergenetics Associate. He received his Bachelor of Financial Services Degree with honours from the National University of Ireland. He also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from University of Warwick.
Before entering the wealth management industry, Christopher spent nearly two years with healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited in a sales and marketing function and seven years with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as an Army Officer in operations, instructional as well as staff functions.
In the SAF, he achieved the Platoon Top Officer Cadet Trainee award, and prestigious Sword of Merit award, an award given to the top 10% of the Officer Cadet School cohort in 1990. Till today, he continues to serve in the reserve in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the army.