Changing client requirements and market conditions are altering the playing field for private banks and wealth managers as they confront rising interest rates, geopolitical uncertainties, and the trend towards sustainability.
One major trend is the substantial shift to fixed-income assets in the wake of central banks aggressively raising interest rates to combat inflation.
With interest rates expected to continue rising, investors believe it will just be a matter of time before a global economic recession sets in. Once this happens, fixed-income assets are expected to generate income during a period of high volatility, especially for equities.
Also, for clients and investors who are leery of going into traditional investments such as long-only mutual funds and other plain vanilla investments, private bankers and wealth managers are on the lookout for alternatives such as private equity, real estate, and certain types of hedge funds.
This would include lending and investment solutions that cover new thematic trends, including ESG and sustainability investments.
In general, private banks and wealth managers have been raising awareness of sustainable and impact investing among their clients in Asia and globally by helping them to understand how their business and investment decisions can generate measurable and beneficial social and environmental returns.
This involves driving clients’ understanding and participation through various forms of engagement including events and webinars and specialized sustainability platforms.
But while awareness of the importance of sustainability among private bank and wealth management clients is rising in the region as a whole, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of generating actual interest in sustainability investments in some markets, particularly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
On the investment front, some private banks, particularly J.P. Morgan Private Bank and BNP Paribas Wealth Management, are spearheading the drive towards sustainability solutions particularly for the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) segment.
The importance of Singapore as a private banking and wealth management market has been highlighted during the awards period. This can be attributed to the Singapore government’s aggressive promotion of the city-state as a regional capital for private banking and wealth management with the objective of building it into a “Geneva of the Far East”.
Also, heightened geopolitical tensions between China and the United States, particularly over Taiwan, have raised concerns among Hong Kong-based clients, both Hong Kong locals and mainland Chinese, on the need for geographic diversification. Anecdotal evidence indicates a substantial increase in the number of Hong Kong-based clients who have opened accounts in Singapore during the awards period, although these clients have kept minimal amounts in such accounts.
However, anecdotal evidence also indicates that such clients remain agnostic as regards booking assets in Hong Kong or Singapore, although accounts involving new businesses tend to be opened in Singapore.
In this regard, many private banks and wealth managers have been hiring Greater China teams in Singapore. In addition, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also relaxed rules on client servicing by allowing Hong Kong-based relationship managers to service Singapore clients, something that used to be prohibited.
On the UHNW segment, anecdotal evidence also indicates that there has been no massive fund flows leaving Hong Kong for Singapore as many such clients have already diversified their holdings geographically. There has also been increased interest in setting up Singapore-based family offices, especially by mainland Chinese clients who may see this as a means of fast-tracking permanent residency in the city-state.
The growing importance of family offices as a component of the private banking and wealth management business in Asia is evident in the way more clients are favouring this structure as a means of managing their portfolios. During the awards period, more family offices emerged in some markets, particularly Hong Kong, India, and Singapore. In mainland China and Taiwan, family offices are also emerging in the UHNW space.
In view of this rising trend, The Asset has opened a new category, “Best Private Bank for Family Office”, to recognize private banks and wealth managers who are showing dedication and commitment to servicing this client segment.
The Asset is pleased to reveal this year's the winners of the Private Banking and Wealth Management Awards of The Asset Triple A Private Capital Awards for Private Banks, Wealth & Investment Bank Advisers, Solutions and Index Providers 2022:
Citi Private Bank
Citi Private Bank wins the Best Private Bank, Asia award for keeping its lead over other regional players with its cutting-edge financial services designed for the entire continuum of wealth clients, from mass affluent to HNW to UNHW. Frank, objective, and confidential testimonies from reputable clients provided a strong testimony to Citi Private Bank’s capabilities that have allowed it to meet the dynamic requirements of its clients in highly challenging markets during the awards period.
Citi Private Bank also wins the Best Nexgen Private Bank, Asia award. The bank’s long and established tradition of servicing next-generation clients, including organizing global, regional, and local events that promote discussion and networking, continues to be a model for other private banks and wealth managers seeking to serve this client segment.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank
J.P. Morgan Private Bank is recognized as the Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Asia for raising the bar for servicing these clients in the region with their leading solutions that provide the best performance in the industry in the face of challenging market conditions.
J.P. Morgan PB also wins as the Best Private Bank for Impact Investing, Asia for providing over a hundred sustainable investment strategies across equities, fixed income and alternatives, including global impact strategy in the private markets.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management (BNPP WM) is Best ESG Private Bank, Asia and Best Private Bank for Impact Investing, Asia – Highly Commended. On ESG, BNPP WM’s embrace of sustainability issues and efforts to raise standards across the industry put it at the forefront of ESG investing in Asia’s private banking sector.
On impact investing, BNPP WM is a leader among Asian private banks in providing solutions that enable clients to invest with the specific objective of making an overall impact on sustainability.
BNPP WM is also recognized as Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Asia – Highly Commended and Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Hong Kong or being one of the top private banks that provide bespoke wealth management services to meet the needs of UHNW clients across Asia and in the Hong Kong market.
BNPP WM also wins the Best Nexgen Private Bank – Next Ideas award for providing futuristic investment solutions for next-generation clients who are keenly interested in more futuristic and less traditional investment strategies and solutions.
BNPP WM is also bestowed the Best Private Bank for Philantrophy, Asia award for offering the broadest range of philanthropic solutions for private bank clients in Asia with its fully dedicated philanthropy advisory team. BNPP WM provides clients with customized philanthropic solutions that allow them to achieve their philanthropic objectives through real-life projects.
DBS Private Bank
DBS Private Bank is recognized as Best Private Bank, Singapore and Best Private Bank, Hong Kong, the first time that one private bank has won the award in both markets. DBS PB’s unique capabilities, positioning, and stature have enabled it to offer cross-border opportunities across the highly dynamic markets of Singapore and Hong Kong.
DBS PB also wins as Best ESG Private Bank, Singapore for its leading work in sustainability in this market, particularly in terms of ESG advocacy, formalizing ESG assessment, green loan leadership, and support for social enterprises.
DBS PB is also the Best Private Bank for Family Office, Singapore winner. DBS PB is becoming the go-to bank for entities who want to set up a family office in a jurisdiction that has established itself as the family office venue of choice in Asia and also as a safe gateway to the region. DBS PB’s family office business saw a threefold increase in 2021.
DBS PB grabs the award for Best Private Bank, HNWIs – Asia for displaying strength in servicing clients in the region who are eager to diversify their portfolios geographically as a means of enhancing risk management and performance. DBS PB has proven its capability to service highly mobile HNWIs with customized solutions for their specific requirements.
DBS PB also wins as Best Wealth Manager, Asia as it continues to be the leading wealth manager across various markets in the region by providing the most extensive network for servicing the mass affluent with its high-technology platform, investment solutions, and client-servicing capabilities.
Julius Baer is recognized as Best Boutique Private Bank, Asia as it continues to maintain its competitive edge in the region by using its advanced digital banking capabilities to engage with clients during the pandemic, for maintaining its leadership in product innovation by launching digital assets linked to exchange-traded products in Singapore, and delivering outperformance for its clients with its discretionary mandates offering. Julius Baer has won this award consistently for the past 13 consecutive years.
As the leading pure-play private bank, Julius Baer’s business model is focused on its client-centric and holistic wealth management approach. It is supported by an engagement-led sustainability strategy as well as strong risk management, and its ability to deliver a broad range of personalized advice and tailored solutions for its UHNW and HNW clients.
In 2021, Julius Baer continued to expand its large franchises in core markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, and India, complemented by dedicated local partnerships with Nomura in Japan and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) in Thailand. The bank also continued to invest in being the employer of choice for the best talent in the market along the entire value chain.
HSBC Private Bank
HSBC Private Bank wins the award for Best ESG Private Bank, Hong Kong for helping Hong Kong clients integrate ESG into their diversified portfolios through a full range of sustainable and impact investing solutions.
HSBC PB is also recognized as Best Private Bank for Philanthropy, Asia – Highly Commended for providing a range of initiatives to support clients on their philanthropic journey. These include arranging educational exchanges, collaborating with clients to raise awareness on philanthropy, and delivering bespoke philanthropic projects.
UOB Personal Financial Services Wealth Management
UOB Personal Financial Services Wealth Management wins as Best Wealth Manager for Impact Investing, Asia and Best Wealth Manager for Impact Investing, Singapore. UOB is the leading wealth manager that is offering investment funds designed for impact investors in the HNW individuaI and mass affluent markets.
E.SUN Bank is recognized as Best ESG Private Bank, Taiwan. The bank has invited 32 customers, including leading local manufacturers, to jointly launch an ESG Advocacy Action and sign the “Sustainable Development Proposal” last year. This is the first ESG advocacy formulated by a private enterprise in Taiwan. The bank has also assisted HNW clients and their companies to implement ESG actions and incorporated ESG into the private banking customer review mechanism.
E.SUN Bank also wins Best Wealth Manager, Taiwan. As one of the leading banks providing wealth management services, E.SUN Bank has recorded solid growth in the number of clients. The bank also received the least number of complaints during the past year among the major players in Taiwan.
ICBC Private Banking
ICBC Private Banking wins Best Private Bank, China. It recorded double-digit growth in assets under management (AUM) during the awards period. With a professional service team, ICBC Private Banking provides customers with integrated financial services by leveraging the resources in all business lines of the ICBC Group. The bank also shows progress in ESG and technology initiatives.
CTBC Bank is Best Private Bank, Taiwan. The bank continues to be the leader in wealth management and private banking in Taiwan. It recorded double-digit growth in AUM for its private banking business, and continued to dominate the field in terms of market share. The bank’s digital platforms are widely used by clients and its relationship managers are well supported by tech tools.
BOCI Private Banking
The bank wins the award for Best Private Bank – HNWIs, China Offshore. As the first Chinese bank to offer private banking services in Hong Kong, BOCI Private Banking has gained market recognition and trust and has secured a leading position in the industry for many years. During the awards period, the bank invested to transform existing systems into a single private banking platform, enabling it to provide more efficient services and a wider range of products.
CMB International Capital Corporation
CMB International’s family office services offer solutions for “investment, business, private and technology” tailored according to the needs of business owners and directors, and high-level executives, covering the entire life cycle of enterprises. It has a wide range of Hong Kong client resources and ranks among the top Chinese securities companies.
Cathay United Bank
Cathay United Bank wins the award for Best Private Bank – HNWIs, Taiwan. As one of the leading banks to provide private banking services to the HNWIs in Taiwan, Cathay United Bank continues to improve its services over the awards period. The bank is the first adopter of Avaloq, the premium private banking system, among Taiwanese banks. The platform grants relationship managers and investment advisers access to the most advanced portfolio management platform.
Taipei Fubon Bank Exclusive Banking
Taipei Fubon Bank wins as Best Private Bank – HNWI, Family Office, Taiwan. With a focus on family office business, Taipei Fubon Bank Exclusive Banking has recorded double-digit growth in AUM during the awards period, making it among the fastest expanding private banks in Taiwan. The bank also provides NexGen programmes to better service rich families in Taiwan.
Shin Kong Bank
Shin Kong Bank is Best Wealth Manager, Taiwan – Highly Commended. The bank provides notable wealth management services by leveraging its wide network of branches. It recorded sizable growth in both AUM and number of clients during the awards period. Client feedback is positive with particular emphasis on the experience and convenience the bank provides.
Agricultural Bank of China Private Banking
Agricultural Bank of China Private Banking is recognized as Best Private Bank – Philanthropy, China. The bank has been doing philanthropy for private banking clients in various formats such as charitable trusts since 2018 and has so far completed almost 20 cases, covering aspects such as rural development, culture and education, medical and health care, and environmental protection.
Ping An Bank
Ping An Bank is the Best Private Bank Experience – Digital Initiatives, China winner. The bank has recorded outstanding AUM growth during the awards period. The bank is the first to onboard the whole process of setting up insurance trust online, reducing the process from one month to one to two working days. Leveraging the parent group’s technology capabilities, the bank also provides other digital services like the first AI direct investment platform for private funds.
Far Eastern International Bank
Far Eastern International Bank is the Best Wealth Manager Experience – Privilege Services, Taiwan winner. Leveraging the resources within its parent group, the bank continues to provide high-quality value-added services to its clients. Last year the bank launched several branches with special features covering aspects such as lifestyle, art and culture.
Kotak Mahindra Bank
Kotak Mahindra Bank is the Best Private Bank, India as it remains the acknowledged market leader by its peers who all view it as the major competitor across all market segments. As one of the oldest private banks in the country, Kotak Mahindra has maintained its leadership position across all market cycles and continues to service 51% of the top 100 families in India.
Edelweiss Private Wealth Management
Edelweiss Private Wealth Management is named Best Private Bank, India – Highly Commended for posting the best performance in the market during the awards period. In the 2021 awards, Edelweiss won Best Wealth Manager, India. But its extraordinary performance during the current awards period has resulted in Edelweiss being upgraded to the Best Private Bank awards category. Although it is relatively small in terms of assets, Edelweiss has shown that it can punch above its weight and has established itself as a very strong player in the private banking space.
Centrum Wealth is recognized as Best Private Bank, India – Rising Star. Although a newcomer to The Asset awards, Centrum Wealth is recognized for its strong performance, high-quality servicing model, top management and other factors that make it a strong competitor in the private banking market in India.
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities
Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities wins the Best Private Bank, Japan award. The bank continues to be the leading private bank in Japan in terms of market performance, digital platform, client-servicing capabilities, and ESG initiatives.
BDO Private Bank
BDO Private Bank is the Best Private Bank, Philippines as it remains the leading private bank in the market with strong growth and performance, top client-servicing capabilities, advanced digital platform, and a wide range of investment solutions across all client segments.
Union Bank of the Philippines is named Best Private Bank, Philippines – Highly Commended. Although this is the first time that Union Bank has participated in this set of awards, its private banking track record, strong performance, digital capabilities, partnership with overseas players, and its acquisition of Citibank’s consumer banking franchise in this market make it one of the top players in the country’s private banking sector.
Kasikorn Private Banking
Kasikorn Private Banking is the Best Private Bank, Thailand winner. KBank PB remains the dominant player in Thailand’s private banking market by offering the widest range of services, products and solutions across all market segments. Its strong digital capabilities and top client-servicing model allowed it to stand out among its peers during the pandemic.
KBank PB is also recognized as Best Private Bank – HNWIs, Thailand as it continues to be the dominant player in the HNWI market by providing outstanding services, products, and solutions specifically designed for this client segment.
Barclays Private Clients, India
Barclays Private Clients, India, a unit of London-based Barclays Bank, is Best Private Bank – UHNWIs, India. Barclays remains one of the top foreign banks with a local presence in India for UHNWI clients. With its comprehensive platform, the bank continues to deliver market-leading solutions for UHNWIs and family offices, and remains the bank of choice for global Indians.
Avendus Wealth Management
Avendus Wealth Management is recognized as Best Private Bank – UNHWIs, India – Highly Commended for its strong growth and focused client engagement. It has continued to provide its clients with new opportunities such as alternative investments.
IIFL Wealth is Best Private Bank – HNWIs, India. It has reasserted its strength in the HNWI market during the awards period with its strong AUM growth, responsive client-servicing model, advanced digital capabilities, and well-rounded investment solutions.
ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management
ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management is recognized as Best Private Bank – HNWIs, India – Highly Commended. It has displayed a consistent focus on competency through its highly capable staff, wide-ranging product suite, open architecture platform, and digital capabilities with value-added features designed specifically for HNWI clients.
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) wins Best Private Bank – HNWIs, Indonesia as it remains the leading bank servicing HNWI clients and mass affluent clients in this market.
Waterfield Advisors wins Best Private Bank for Family Office, India. It is the leading private bank that specializes in servicing family offices in this market. Waterfield continues to work with leading family offices in terms of building brand identity, helping define their philosophy, launching digital initiatives, and advising them on media relations.
Motilal Oswal Private Wealth
Motilal Oswal Private Wealth is Best Wealth Manager, India in recognition of its strong business performance, top client-servicing capabilities, wide range of products, cutting-edge technology, and strong client engagement, particularly during the pandemic.
HSBC Indonesia is Best Wealth Manager, Indonesia based on its strong growth in mutual funds, digital transactions, wealth digital volume, and new wealth to customers despite the challenging market conditions brought on by the pandemic.
PT Bank Commonwealth
PT Bank Commonwealth is Best Wealth Manager, Indonesia – Highly Commended as it continues to service the wealth advisory and investment requirements of an increasing number of millennial investors through its digital applications.
PT Bank Commonwealth is also recognized as Best Wealth Manager Experience, Digital Initiatives for its cutting-edge digital capabilities including online banking, mobile banking, and digital innovation.
BDO Unibank – Trust and Investments Group
BDO Unibank – Trust and Investments Group wins as Best Wealth Manager, Philippines as it continues to provide the widest and most robust multi-channel distribution network for servicing HNWI clients in the market through its traditional bank branches, online platform, and mobile banking applications.
TMBThanachart Bank Public Company Limited
TMBThanachart Bank Public Company Limited is recognized as Best Wealth Manager, Thailand – Rising Star. Although a newcomer to this set of awards, TMBThanachart Bank has proven to be a strong player in the wealth management space through its superior credit card offerings, comprehensive variety of financial solutions, and strong business performance.
Capital League is the Best Boutique Wealth Manager, India for displaying extraordinary capabilities in client servicing, investment performance, focused advisory capabilities, and strong business growth.
Alpha Capital is recognized as Best Boutique Wealth Manager, India – Highly Commended for implementing major changes to its digitalization framework, its sharpened focus and allocation to ESG and similar social impact initiatives, and strong business growth.
Equirus Wealth wins as Best Wealth Manager Experience, India for its purely digital approach to wealth management, value proposition, products, services, and research, as well as its strong business growth.
ATRAM Wealth wins the Editors’ Triple Star award as the first private wealth manager in the Philippines to set up an alternatives financing unit and for generating a substantial portfolio of companies for private debt financing in 2021.
For the complete list of awards, please click here.