All articles by Will Cain

Will Cain

Private banks sleepwalking into asset bases

The emerging affluent and mass affluent segments have been one of the hot topics in wealth management in 2011. Almost all of the leading wealth management banks now offer a package designed for one or both of these sets of individuals, usually defined as the $20,000 to $100,000 and $100,000 to $2m segments respectively with Singapore-based UOB one of the latest banks to launch services to the “rising rich”. While most in the financial services industry agree an important part of their future profitability will come from this affluent segment, there remains a lack of clarity around how best these customers can be acquired and retained.”Its a fair point to note that while in the retail space all banks are trying to build their propositions to cater to this segment, not many banks even those that have started to look at this segment have the right formula,” said one banker spoken to by PBI.”Theres significant overlap between where the private bank begins and where the retail banks who want to play in this space ends. That issue is being defined as we speak.”

A new perspective on megawealth

The past five years have seen a number of ultra high net worth, family office and even megawealth initiatives launched by private banks across the world Ultra high net worth and family office initiatives have given way to a focus on segmentation at the lower end of the wealth spectrum during the course of 2010 and 2011.

BNP Paribas looks to double Asia AuM by 2014

The wealth arm of BNP Paribas in Asia is aiming to grow assets under management from $40bn to $80bn in the next three years, and double its number of relationship managers. The targets are part of a three-pronged strategy developed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management chairman and chief executive Mignonne Cheng The first is a market-based approach, similar to that now being employed at RBS Coutts (see above), which will see the bank focus on the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and India (onshore and non-resident Indian) markets, rather than on specific booking centres.

New brand prompts Asian strategy rethink at Coutts

Coutts and Co, the private banking division of RBS, is remodelling its strategy in Asia as part of ongoing attempts to reposition the bank and its brand. Earlier this month, the international arm of the private bank, formerly called RBS Coutts, dropped RBS from its brand and is now being marketed under Coutts and Co as part of a single global brand. The rebrand is part of a broader rethink around the way it segments and services clients, according to Nick Pollard, chief executive of RBS Coutts in Asia.

Strategies for sustainable growth

Asias fastest-growing wealth segment is in the middle income, leading many private banks, especially those that are foreign-based, to reduce their wealth thresholds Will Cain looks at this and two other key trends which can contribute to the sustainability of private banking businesses in Asia-Pacific. Private banks in the Asia-Pacific region are chasing three core strategies to increase assets under management and revenues both in the short and longer term.

Keeping it in the family

Generational transfer and succession planning is at the top of the agenda and family offices are now springing up across the world to cater for families needs

Offshore renminbi powers ahead

The IPO of billionaire Li Ka-shings real estate investment trust Hui Xian is the first outside Mainland China to be denominated in Hong Kongs offshore yuan renminbi currency, the CNH

Kreis reorganises for Greater China push

Greater China will form a central part of Credit Suisses Asia-Pacific private banking strategy in the coming years, according to Marcel Kreis, head of Asia-Pacific private banking at Credit Suisse. Kreis sees Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan as an integrated, Greater China economic region and has re-organised his teams management structure to better position Credit Suisse for growth.

Regulation ends ‘cushy’ era: Marcel Kreis

The sight of protests outside banks in Hong Kongs Central district remains an all too familiar reminder of the financial pain inflicted by the financial crisis in Asia

Tan Su Shan seeks to reinvigorate DBS

Private bank head Tan Su Shan talks to Will Cain about her goal of making DBS Asian wealth manager of choice for the New Asia a year since she took on the job.