Existing clients can use these links to log in to the Infinity dashboard. Not a client? Why not get in touch to find out about our services.
It takes a certain type of person to set up their own company in a foreign country. Most of the time it happens by degrees, often beginning with an adventure holiday to a foreign land, falling in love with the place, coming back a few times and eventually deciding to settle in a strange land and fill a niche. It is by this follow-your-nose method that some people find their destiny.
But happenstance is only part of it. Hunger, ambition and a deep seated desire to take on new challenges in new places characterises the successful expatriate.
It is never easy, as Trevor Keidan, Managing Director of Infinity Financial Solutions discovered when he and his partners set up the company and expanding operations into Malaysia and Cambodia, creating a regional network offering a range of personal and corporate insurance and financial services.
And though Trevor is not yet 40, it has been a long and winding road from his childhood in South Africa to regional boss in Southeast Asia with a lengthy detour in the United Kingdom, featuring a range of occupations along the way.
Moving to London with his parents at the age of 14 was Trevor’s first epiphany — finding himself living in a place so different from his homeland.
“It was a real eye opener. Experiencing true freedom is very liberating. Simple things like going to school on public transport, being able to ride the tubes and buses and get around without relying on parents was great… My youth was a contrast of cultures and environments from the harshness of Johannesburg to the beauty of Cape Town and the vibrant cosmopolitan vibe of London, which I can only assume has fuelled the bug in me to travel and explore new cultures,” he says.
“For me sales was a natural start to my career and I’ve meandered my way to my current position,” Trevor admits. “I was never afraid to grasp an opportunity and try new things, and I believe that has enabled me to effectively develop my career in this direction.”
Trevor’s career began with a summer job in sales. “It is an excellent training ground for all the important daily skills, like communication, building relationships, listening, time management, self discipline, self motivation, hard work and dedication.”
The next decade saw Trevor stick with mainly with sales, moving upwards to the management level. Then he changed tack and set up a personal development consultancy in the UK, providing recruitment, training and management consultancy services to a host of blue chip companies and even wrote and developed a customer services training programme for SKY business-to-business satellite television.
After a few years of this, Asia beckoned. “I’d visited friends en route from Hong Kong and the wonderful environment and mystical way of the East grabbed hold of me. A few years later opportunity knocked, so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, beginning a new life and career,” Trevor says.
“From there things just seemed to develop in a natural way. I met my business partners and seeing an opening in the market place, we set up Infinity, which has expanded swiftly.”
Though this career change may seem a bit of a leap, Trevor had done his homework. “I have earned numerous professional qualifications and very specifically in the finance sector — UK qualifications for both onshore and internationally. I also hold the relevant qualifications to practice in Singapore.”
But the best and toughest lessons aren’t the ones you learn in school. “The preparation for my current role has been the in-depth, hands on experience from working in this industry in Southeast Asia.”
Trevor and his partners started from scratch with no client base and very few of the high-placed connections, usually seen as essential to doing business in Asia. “The experience you gain from arriving in a strange country, not knowing anyone and having to create opportunities was a steep learning curve but one I found challenging and enjoyed thoroughly.”
The hard work appears to be paying off. Trevor’s advice for succeeding as an expatriate is solidly based in common sense. “Whilst I do find working in Southeast Asia frustrating at times, it is also challenging and fun.” There are just a few things to bear in mind, he says: “It is someone else’s country and our job to fit in with them, not vice versa. Make the effort to learn some of the language — if you respect them and their environment, they will be welcoming and hospitable. Many of us are here because the quality of life is better than at home, so remember this and don’t fall into the trap of complaining too much. If it is too much, you can always go home.”
And on the business side it also helps if your company offers value to its customers. “What we are focused on is doing the right job for our clients, providing excellent service and support, ensuring we take a holistic view of our clients’ financial planning needs — and deliver on our promises.”
As for the future, Trevor intends to stay the course here in Southeast Asia with the new life he has created for himself. “I was married last year and though I don’t have any children yet, my attitude has definitely changed from being relatively carefree to someone who is firmly focused on the future and ensuring my family will be financially cared for through effective planning. We encourage our prospective clients to focus on this as well.
“Professionally, my partners and I will continue developing and growing Infinity Financial Solutions into a market leading brand and company that will become the first choice for expatriates living and working overseas. We are working on expanding into more mature and regulated territories such as Singapore and Hong Kong, so watch this space!”
This Site and the Content are not directed at or intended for distribution to any person (or entity) who is a citizen or resident of Hong Kong (or located or established in) any other jurisdiction where the use of the Site would be contrary to applicable law or regulation or would subject Infinity Financial Solutions Limited to any registration or licensing requirement in such jurisdiction.
Persons (or entity) who is a citizen or resident of Hong Kong please click on the link below to access our Hong Kong Site.