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Editorial Board Spotlight: How serendipity helped Iu-Jin Ong become a family office pioneer

Iu-Jin Ong, co-founder of single family office Augventive shies away from narratives of cutthroat ambition, choosing instead to embrace a path paved with serendipity, self-belief, and a constant pursuit of meaningful work.
Editorial Board Spotlight: How serendipity helped Iu-Jin Ong become a family office pioneer

"I've always believed in the power of serendipity," Iu-Jin Ong told AsianInvestor.

"But it's not just about luck. You have to be prepared to recognise the opportunity when it presents itself, and you have to have the courage to seize it." 

This philosophy, a blend of pragmatism and optimism, is woven throughout Ong's career trajectory,  including in his current role as co-founder of Augventive Limited, a single-family office in Hong Kong.

Iu-Jin Ong

Ong’s story is a testament to the power of betting on yourself, trusting in the journey, and prioritising personal fulfillment alongside professional success.

Ong's career began in the banking world, where he diligently spent a decade learning the intricacies of the financial system.

But the allure of the corporate ladder quickly faded.

"I never really felt that it was my calling to work for a big institution," he confesses.

"I think I've naturally always had a desire to be entrepreneurial, to think outside the box, to control my own destiny or my own company."

This innate desire to forge his own path led him to the then-nascent world of family offices in Asia.

In 2008, he took a leap of faith, leaving behind the security of his banking career to establish one of the first multi-family offices in Singapore.

It was a pivotal moment, as the concept of a ‘family office’ was still relatively unknown in the region. But Ong was determined to bring this new model to the forefront.

"When I do something, I'm obviously very strategic about it," Ong explains. "Obviously, you need to plan, you need to ensure that there's enough business logic."

His gamble paid off. The multi-family office flourished, achieving considerable success and helping to establish the family office concept as a viable wealth management solution in Asia.

After several years, Ong decided to sell his stake and move on from the venture, seeking new opportunities to align his personal ambitions with his professional pursuits.

This period of exploration would ultimately lead him back to the world of family offices, but with a deeper understanding of his own values and a refined vision for the future.

SERENDIPITOUS CONNECTION

Ong returned to his entrepreneurial roots, working on individual projects and leveraging his expertise to advise clients directly. Then, serendipity struck.

Through a friend he had known for over two decades, Ong was introduced to a prominent high-net worth family in need of specific financial guidance.

"He [the friend] said, 'This guy has this problem, can you solve this problem?'" Ong recalls. "I said, 'Yes, I can.’”

This seemingly chance encounter, facilitated by a long-standing friendship, would prove to be pivotal.

The project, completed successfully, blossomed into a relationship built on trust and mutual respect. 

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the geographical distance and inability to meet face-to-face, Ong and his new client cultivated a strong bond.

"If you want to use a dating analogy," Ong says, "this was like a long-distance relationship."

This unique foundation, shaped in the crucible of a global pandemic, ultimately led to the formation of Augventive, a single-family office dedicated to serving the HNWI family's needs.

LEGACY AND INNER PEACE

For Ong, Augventive represents far more than just managing investments.

It's about crafting a holistic strategy that encompasses not just financial growth, but also family legacy and individual well-being.

He envisions Augventive as an "architect of family offices," designing bespoke solutions tailored to each client's unique values and aspirations.

The commitment to a holistic approach is deeply intertwined with Ong's personal philosophy. He believes in achieving a balance between professional success and personal fulfillment, advocating for the importance of investing in oneself – mentally, spiritually, and physically. 

"Longevity is a very important theme," Ong said. "Personal longevity, business longevity and longevity as a family. It's not just about yourself, it's about your family and your business and all of that." 

To achieve this balance, Ong emphasises the importance of mental and spiritual well-being. He is a strong advocate of meditation and living in moderation.

“I try to meditate daily, and ensure I consume what’s healthy for both my mind and body. I think that's important, it keeps me healthy and it helps me navigate the complexities of life and business.”

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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