Dedicated financial advisor and 2022 Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor Andrew Ling Tse has always been committed to maximizing his potential. That commitment led him to graduate school for the Columbia University Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Wealth Management program, in which he is currently enrolled.
But Tse didn’t always know he’d be in wealth management. Born in Guangzhou, China, Tse was raised in Long Island, New York, where he lived from the age of ten.
Tse received a B.S. in accounting and started a short-lived accounting career. “After six months, I quickly realized I was not passionate enough about accounting and took my chance to pivot to technology consulting in Arthur Andersen & Co., which was where I became exposed to the financial services industry for the first time,” Tse says.
He would go on to JPMorgan, where he eventually moved into the private bank division as an investment advisor for clients in Asia. He is currently a senior vice president and financial advisor for the UBS International Division in New York City, where he helps mostly international high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families with tactical trading, portfolio management, and estate planning. Tse spoke with us about his journey to financial services and how Columbia’s M.P.S. in Wealth Management program is enhancing his career.
What attracted you to wealth management?
Firstly, I think private wealth management has elements of Wall Street (fast-paced, dynamic, intellectually challenging, and performance-based) and Main Street (building relationships with individuals and families, solving life-changing problems, making a real impact on real people); both fit my personality and skill set. Secondly, wealth management gives me the opportunity to be entrepreneurial; building my own client base and running my own practice within the company is exciting and rewarding. Finally, I often get to learn from smart and successful clients; it is a privileged position to be in, and one of our industry’s best-kept secrets.
When and why did you decide to return to an academic setting? Why Columbia’s M.P.S. in Wealth Management program?
I have always wanted to pursue a graduate degree, though I initially wanted to obtain an M.B.A. and make a career change. I was lucky enough to have landed in private banking—that’s when I found my passion and realized that I didn’t need an M.B.A. Fast forward to late 2020 and time was no longer an issue; my kids were older and I had been saving 2.5 hours of daily commuting by working from home, so I could finally get the graduate degree that I had always wanted. When I received a LinkedIn message about Columbia’s M.P.S. in Wealth Management program, I was immediately intrigued by the curriculum and its flexible asynchronous learning modules. I really believe that the program will help me to become an even better advisor and enable me to deliver superior services and advice to my clients. It’s the best of both worlds!
How has your learning from the Wealth Management program contributed to your career?
One major benefit of studying in this program is the ability to apply what I learn in class to real-life situations at work. In addition, Columbia’s resources and the network I’ve built have enriched my overall experience and have had immediate positive impacts on my development as an advisor. For example, prior to the program, tax planning was not a subject I typically would have discussed with clients because it was out of my comfort zone. Since taking the Tax Planning course, I feel more confident providing relevant advice to my clients.
I also enjoy learning from and sharing ideas with my fellow classmates, lecturers, and course associates–especially with those who are in wealth management. Finally, I think Columbia’s prestigious reputation has further enhanced my credentials. My wealth management practice focuses on the Asia client market, and brand recognition is important in that part of the world. Being able to have Columbia in my bio has certainly helped to open new doors. Overall, with the additional knowledge and skills I’ve gained from Columbia, I am becoming a more well-rounded advisor who is equipped to help my clients now and in the future.
How do you ensure that you’re getting the most out of the online program?
Working full-time with a demanding job, maintaining a normal family life, and pursuing a master’s degree may seem daunting. However, it really comes down to proper time management. I have a weekly routine that I follow as much as possible. I also try to maximize the program’s networking opportunities. I aim to actively maintain regular communication with my fellow classmates. I have already met with a few of them in person and can’t wait to meet everyone at some point. I am sure some of my classmates will become lifelong friends!
Congratulations on your recent achievement! Could you tell us more about the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor rankings?
The Forbes ranking of Best-in-State Wealth Advisor is developed by SHOOK Research, whose purpose is to recognize the best advisors in our industry by state. The selection is based on a formula using qualitative and quantitative factors, such as a minimum of seven years of experience, a minimum of one year at the current firm, and advisors must be nominated by their firm. Additionally, the formula also weighs factors such as compliance records, asset under management (AUM), revenue trends, industry experiences, and the approach to working with clients.
Honestly, I was really surprised that I was selected since there are so many accomplished advisors both in our industry and in the state of New York. Although I have been in the wealth management industry for almost eighteen years, I have only been a financial advisor for the past eight years. That’s why I still see myself as a “work-in-progress” and just didn’t think I could be included at this stage of my career. Nevertheless, being in the list is truly an honor, and it motivates me to work even harder to move up on the ranking.