"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies." - Woody Allen


Prudential - a piece of shit

One of the most innovative and dynamic industries around must be Financial Planning. Being a very rewarding career which offers one independence and which also has much potential for career growth and advancement, turnover in the industry is exceedingly high.

One of their old tactics was to rename themselves. Thus, a whole range of euphemisms sprung up. Financial Consultant; Financial Planner and Service Consultant; Wealth Management; Wealth Relationship Executive/Manager.

Yet, like a polymorphic virus, it has to continually evolve in order to escape detection by increasingly savvy and aware potental victims.

Forget about old, staid, fuddy-duddy industries! Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast.

One of the products of this arms race is analogous to a stealth liposome, hiding its toxic payload just long enough to get through the proverbial immune system.

Take this job ad:

"Management Associate ~ MNC
We're looking for enthusiastic individuals who are keen in learning and take up new challenges. You'll go through a training program where relevant skills will be picked up. Excellent remuneration benefits and career advancement opportunities. Send your cv to Send your cv to jas.jcohrdept@gmail.com . Only Singaporeans and PRs need apply. Fresh grads welcome."

Innocuous enough (as far as the metastasizing cancer is concerned), though suspiciously vague, with no company name (though this is normal in recruitment agency listings), no company description and a job description that's suitably generic and useless; what company would want unenthusiastic people who refuse to learn and don't want to be challenged? Who wouldn't want to be paid well and have opportunities for career progression?

A variant ad on the same site brings up (barely) more details:

Perhaps the most useful information here is that the company is the forgettably named "JConsultancy".

Unfortunately, a web search reveals that it is a software solutions provider. Owned by a Dutchie. Which helps you with Ubuntu, het gratis platform dat op nieuwe en oudere PCs uitstekend werkt.

[Clarification: A software solutions provider based halfway around the world has NOTHING to do with a financial planning recruitment scam in Singapore.

I apologise for not making this clear earlier.]

The address of this "JConsultancy" turns out to be 80 Anson Road, Fuji Xerox Tower, #08-01, a place with an extremely bad reputation for housing Prudential nonsense. And the 8th floor is occupied by Prudential offices, with "JConsultancy" nowhere to be seen.

And now "Management Associate" is the latest term, in the Financial Planning universe, for one of their flunkies.

This is only surprising if one forgets that this is the same line that is very rewarding, offers one independence and which also has much potential for career growth and advancement.

Maybe next they will advertise for the position of CEO, only for you to discover that this stands for "Consulting Executive Officer". And that they are hiring year-round. And that they are so eager to welcome you into the family that they actively seek you out.

Bear in mind that all this skulduggery is just on their supply side!

The Financial Planning industry continues to find new ways both of sucking in grunts to flog their wares and fodder to sustain it.

At least for MLM buyers and sellers were the same, so you got only half the annoyance.
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