The expatriate community in Germany is growing and the need for financial planning with it. As many more people of African descend decide to make Germany home, having a retirement plan, a goal-directed wealth accumulation or real estate financing scheme should not be ignored.
First, a hearty thank you, Osman, for taking time off your very busy schedule to reach out to our readers.
A Sister in Germany: I know you as Osman Nyei but will you mind to tell our readers more about you and maybe about your roots?
Osman Nyei: Thanks SEA for having me here. Yes … The full name is Osman Bashir Nyei and I am Liberian. To be exact I’m as well half Sierra Leonean. Born in Egypt on May 5th 1978 and came to Germany along with the family in 1986. Since then I’ve lived, went to school and studied in Germany. Now I’m self-employed, married and we have a little boy.
A Sister in Germany: How did you find yourself in the finance/investment/insurance branch? Actually you are the only African in Germany I know, who specifically does that
Osman Nyei: LoL … You know that’s funny to me too but at the same time sad. I do know about other Africans working in the financial sector but mostly for larger companies or if self-employed, then as an agent for one of the bigger brokerage agencies. But up till today, I just know about myself running an own agency, as an African in Germany.
The interesting thing is that anytime I speak to German clients, insurers or other brokers they first seem surprised but at the same time they are happy to see an African in the business.
I was always interested in financial matters and wanted to understand the way things work.
A Sister in Germany: Tell us more about OBN, Expats Financial Advice Germany. What is it exactly?
Osman Nyei: OBN stands for Osman Bashir Nyei …. That was the best name I could come up with. When I first started as a broker for a larger brokerage agency (that was in 2008) my supervisor sat down with me and told me: “Osman … It might be that if you happen to speak to potential clients and ask them to attend a consultation, they might react aggressively. I then asked him: Why do you think so. He said very politely: Don’t misunderstand me but it will have to do something with your skin color. At that point in time I had the choice to feel offended and walk out or just swallow. So I simply said: Well if that’s the case I speak to people who look like me”
Since then I’ve just been consulting staff members of larger international organizations and private persons. I did leave the company in 2011 and started OBN-Expats Financial Advice Germany. During my time I did learn that many foreigners first coming to Germany or already living in Germany do find it difficult to cope with insurance and financial matters. They are very happy with the fact that somebody with an intercultural background is there to assist them.
A Sister in Germany: Do you also offer your services to German expats abroad?
Osman Nyei: Yes I do …. I currently have several German clients living in Brazil, Sweden or the USA with property and investments in Germany; as well as non-Germans who have set up plans in Germany.
A Sister in Germany: That would mean if someone decides to leave Germany after many years and for example go back home, you could still manage their retirement plan/ wealth/real estate from here.
Osman Nyei: Yes … It’s actually a very simple procedure. Many clients do think that it does not make sense to start a plan in Germany because they might move elsewhere. I always say, it actually does not matter where they build up their plans for the future. Most importantly is that they start somewhere.
A Sister in Germany: What about people abroad who plan to travel to Germany and need a health or travel insurance, do you cover those too? For example students, business people or tourists
Osman Nyei: Besides OBN, I run an online portal for students, employees, etc. called DeutscheInsurance, where people who plan to travel to Germany can ask for quotes and we do our best to find a suitable insurance coverage for them. First we determine the reason of travel then we give advice on the best health insurance coverage for the client. It could be public, private or simply a travel insurance.
A Sister in Germany: How early should people start thinking of financial planning?
Osman Nyei:I believe we all always think about our finances and how to manage them. Some do it perfectly and do not need guidance. Others need to find and speak to an independent consultant.
And it is always simple to tell somebody that he/she should start very early. I would rather always want to understand the client's personal situation, determined goals, indicated potential risks and then take the necessary actions.
A Sister in Germany: must I have a huge salary in order to consider wealth accumulation or retirement planing or even buying a house or a flat. Are there any cut-offs, as in income.
Osman Nyei: Everybody can plan his/her finances. The most important thing is that the plans are realistic. Somebody with an income of 1.500€ Net for a family of four has to really think if it is reasonable to buy a property for 250.000€.
A Sister in Germany: What should people lookout for when going in for financial deals? What are 3 must-haves.
- Make sure the consultant gives you the chance to compare different offers
- Talk to an independent and registered advisor
- Know what you are capable of doing
A Sister in Germany: What advice would you give to the younger generation on managing finances
Osman Nyei: First I would like to give the parents an advice. Almost every child in Germany does receive child allowance (Kindergeld). Not all families are able to put that money aside for the child. Basically, because of personal circumstances. If a parent can at least save some of that money for the future and make the child aware of such savings it could be very helpful. A child would see such act as an example and would proceed in the same manner.
A Sister in Germany: How best can one reach you. Email? Website?
Osman Nyei: It’s best to reach me via eMail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like please have a look at the website: www.obn-finance.com
A Sister in Germany: Now who are your role models, please don't say Rockefeller...
Osman Nyei: My father is Nr. 1 … He has a way of talking to people. He is very much respected & has achieved a lot regarding his background.
Nr. 2 … I would say is some guy called Christopher Williams. He is an investment banker at Wall Street who owns a very successful Company. The US magazine “Black Enterprise” had named his company as one of the best.
A Sister in Germany: Thanks agian for honoring us with your time and knowledge.
Osman Nyei: Thank you for having me
Contact / ImprintOBN - Expats Financial Advice Germany
Tel.: +49 - (0)228 - 974 68 250
Mobil: +49 - (0)228 - 178 - 406 8077