As one of the People to People delegates who departed from the U.S. on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, Alfred McIntosh flew to China to establish goodwill and make contact with his Chinese counterparts. By this interaction and an exchange of ideas, he found out the unique features of market-driven vs. centrally-planned economies and understood better the influence of the world market in the universe of financial planning. There were unique opportunities to establish personal relationships with new business colleagues and visit their places of commerce.

A summary of highlights from this trip included:

  • A Knowledge Cafe’ style peer to peer meeting with Chinese financial planner peers was held. On this evening FPSB China treated the People to People professionals to a “Beijing Night Gala Dinner”.
  • A SIno-US Financial Planning Summit was held, called: “The Future of the Global Financial Planning under New FinancialPattern”.
  • In the afternoon, the University of International Business and Economics, School of Business & Finance held a meeting of professors, students and others. Plus, a Town Hall style meeting with local planners was held.
  • A visit to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, lunching with ICBC Private Banking Department, and then in the afternoon got together with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank for conversations about Wealth Management.

Clearly, there were lots of opportunities to learn about big macrofinancial and economic issues as well as household level subjects — the group even got to meet some of the Chinese’s “NexGen”!

The itinerary included (see picture of these places in slide show):

Wednesday, May 25 — arrival in Beijing

Thursday, May 26 — overview briefing and gathering professional gifts for meeting hosts (FPSB China)

Friday, May 27 — Cultural Day — a stroll through Tian’anmen Square and a walking tour of the Forbidden City, comparable to the next visit to the Great Wall, with a breath-taking view of the region’s rugged landscape.

Saturday, May 28 — the China World Hotel and continued discussions with FPSB China representatives focusing on:

  • Future of global financial planning
  • Investing in China
  • Benefits of the emerging Chinese economy
  • China’s middle class

The afternoon included a meeting with the staff at the University of International Business and Economics, School of Banking and Finance — one of the leading Chinese schools which holds a very high international reputation with strengths in the fields of money and banking, economics, international finance and financial engineering.

The program focused on financial education in China.

Sunday, May 29 — Beijing to Guilin

Monday, May 30 — outside of Guilin in Xingping, a cultural cruise on the winding Li River which has famous rock formations including the multicoloured vegetated Folded Brocade Hill, the cave of Crescent Moon Hill and then, the Luogo Rapids.

Tuesday, May 31 — a visit to Guilin Bank, an independent, joint-stock commercial bank which has earned the status of being one of the most distinctive, highly competitive, while most satisfactory banks in the Guangxi Autonomous Region.

The program focused on financial challenges facing Chinese families and individual investment.

Later in the hotel conference center the program focused on:

  • Financial literacy and public awareness of financial planning
  • Investment planning
  • Gender issues
  • Retirement planning
  • Elder care

Wednesday, June 1 — Guilin to Shanghai

Thursday, June 2 — the Shanghai Stock Exchange founded in November 1990, bases its development on the principle of “legislation, supervision, self-regulation and standardization” to create a transparent, open, safe and efficient marketplace. It provides a marketplace and facilities for securities trading — formulating business rules, arranging listings and organizing/monitoring securities trading and disseminating market information.

The program focused on:

  • Chinese Financial Markets and economy
  • Global portfolio investment

After lunch with representatives of the Industrial and Commercial Bank (the first organization to have a private banking business finance license issued by the China banking Regulatory Commission), a meeting was made with the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, a commercial bank founded in 1992 which has earned great respect in the domestic stock market in China.

Their program focused on common financial decisions families must make.

The guest program included visits to the Jade Buddha temple (built in 1882 and subsequently destroyed in the Qing Dynasty revolution, and a new temple built in 1928), the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, and then the galleries and cafés of the Xin Tian Di area.

Friday, June 2 — the guest cultural program continued with a stop at the Yu Garden bordering Shanghai’s Old Town filled with stone dragons, teahouses, pavilions and goldfish ponds. After a stroll through the “Wall Street” of the foreign powers — the Bund — the afternoon was spent at the at the Shanghai Museum, the largest museum in the country, absorbing 120.000 cultural relics spanning all the historical periods of China.

After departing China on Saturday, June 3, Alfred McIntosh realized even more, that by understanding international financial structures such as China’s; their challenges and future opportunities, on top of his two decades of financial services experience here in the U.S., he is better equipped and able to be a resource for your financial planning — to help you achieve your goals and enhance your life within this burgeoning international marketplace, just as people in China are just beginning to realize!