Interview with Mr Lim Wah Tong (Shareholder of Purvis Capital)

Mr Lim Wah Tong is the founding shareholder of Purvis Capital, a growing organisation which specialises in Traded Endowment/Life Policies (TEP/TLP).

Starting his career as a trainee in banking before moving to the insurance industry, Mr Lim was primarily responsible for the retail sales business of Phillip Securities. Today, he is one of the Executive Directors of Phillip Securities Pte Ltd and also holds directorship in several companies under the PhillipCapital Group.

Mr Lim Wah Tong has also served as Chairman of the Securities Association of Singapore from FY2007 to 2009 and from FY2012 to 2015. Mr Lim holds a Bachelor of Science (Second Upper Honours) in Actuarial Science and Statistics and also a Master of Science in Operational Research from the London School of Economics (LSE).

  1. Why is Purvis Capital interested in buying the Traded Endowment Policies (TEPs) and Traded Life Policies (TLPs)?
    “TEPs/TLPs are asset classes with returns that do not correlate with the returns of equities, properties and other major asset classes. It can be a component of a well-diversified portfolio.”
  2. Do you resell the policies that you have bought?
    “Even though the current law allows us to resell policies to third party individuals, policies bought are currently only for our personal consumption. It is possible that in future, policies may be resold via a Fund structure. However, our focus now remains on acquiring eligible policies.”
  3. What are the benefits for policyholders in selling to Purvis Capital instead of surrendering the policies to an insurer?
    “The main advantage, among others, is financial benefit. Selling policies to Purvis Capital can result in policyholders receiving a significantly larger amount as compared to surrendering the policy to the insurer. You may contact us at 65336528 to request for a free quote.”
  4. Why is Purvis Capital able to quote a higher price than the insurer?
    “Insurance policies are long-term contracts between a policyholder and the insurer. The policyholder pays an implicit penalty when the contract is terminated earlier than agreed upon. By selling your policy to us, Purvis Capital takes over your obligations. We also have different cost structures.”
  5. If offers for Endowment/Life surrenders may be better in secondary market, why are so few advisors and policyholders doing this?
    “Many policyholders are unaware that Endowment/Life surrenders in secondary market even exist as information on this subject is not widely available. Furthermore, there is also no requirement for insurers to inform policyholders that they have alternative options that are better. We hope that requirements are soon instituted such that insurers make available to the policyholders all possible decisions before any choice is made, such that an informed choice can be made.I would think that about half of financial intermediaries are not aware that surrendering endowment/life policies are better in the secondary market. Furthermore, even amongst those who do know, a large proportion of them would believe that there is a conflict of interest if they were to influence in the client’s decision to surrender a long term insurance policy. They would therefore not take any steps to inform the policyholder of alternative choices.”