Vontobel enlarges Asian footprint

Vontobel seeks to harness the huge growth potential for business with external asset managers and family offices who seek services for external asset managers in Asia

Georg von Wattenwyl has been appointed to take worldwide responsibility for the sale of EAM-related products to family offices business with external asset managers. As head of Vontobel's financial products, advisory & distribution unit for 11 years, he has been in charge of global advisory services and the distribution of Vontobel financial products.

He will be in charge of the development of the business in Asia and head the new team from 1 January 2019.

Vontobel expects the Asian market for external asset managers (EAMs) and family offices who seek services for external asset managers to grow by more than 30% per year. In the two key Asian financial centers of Singapore and Hong Kong alone, there are around 150 EAMs and multi-family offices (MFOs) providing high-net-worth clients with investment banking, asset management, and wealth management services. Together, they manage client assets totaling some CHF 100 billion. Added to these are a comparable number of single-family offices (SFOs) with a similar volume of client assets.

"In view of the global trend in assets owned by ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), the transfer of assets from one generation to the next, and the related need for international diversification, Asia has attractive growth potential in this area. Vontobel is expanding its regional reach, subject to relevant regulatory approvals being obtained, to secure access to global investment expertise and has a globally established digital platform for EAMs and family offices in EAMNet. On top of this, Vontobel can offer its partners, services for dealing with US persons in Asia," says Brian Fischer, head of external asset managers (EAM) at Vontobel.

Georg von Wattenwyl, meanwhile, comments, "I am looking forward to this new challenge, which presents me with an ideal opportunity to combine my considerable experience and specialist know-how with a new dimension of entrepreneurial responsibility."