This years conference also hosted two FutureVision sessions. Introduced in 2015 on the 25th anniversary of the PBI Global Wealth Summit, the FutureVision session is an on-stage interview of a C-level private banker who talks about current trends, important industry shifts and views on the future of the industry. The 2016 conference went a step further and introduced a Masterclass session as well where an industry expert would speak about an key issue in-depth and take questions from the audience thereafter. This closed door session encouraged high levels of engagement and open discussions.

Below is a summary of the two FutureVision sessions, Masterclass session as well as a data-driven presentation that Oliver Williams, founding Member and head of WealthInsight, made at the conference:


FutureVision One: Jimmy Lee, Head Asia Pacific & Member of the Executive Board, Bank Julius Baer

Japan and China are considered major avenues of opportunity for private banks in Asia. As pointed out by Jimmy Lee – Head of Asia Pacific & Member of the Executive Board at Bank Julius Baer – China and Japan’s individual wealth constitute about 80% of total wealth in Asia. “If any bank can get this right, they will be the biggest private bank in Asia,” he says.

Bank Julius Baer’s own approach to China is three-pronged. Tapping into the market through Singapore and Hong Kong for the last ten years, the Swiss private bank is among the bigger ones that have been successful in managing offshore money in China.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Lee also pointed out that they have many strategic collaborations in the region, Bank of China being one such partner. “We bought their private banking operations in Switzerland and we signed a collaboration agreement with them,” he shared, adding that Bank Julius Baer looks at the products that they need and supplies them to their network onshore through a representative office in Shanghai.

Explaining why partnerships would be the best approach to tap into largely homogeneous markets such as China and Japan, Lee warned: “If you incorporate something there, you’ll be one of the smallest and unheard-of players in the country.”


FutureVision Two: Evrard Bordier, Chief Executive Officer – Singapore, Bordier & Cie

Private banks are currently having to run the gauntlet of non-bank challengers, technological adoption and escalating costs to thrive. Evrard Bordier, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore at Bordier & Cie, discussed some strategies underpinning success in the private banking industry.

“Standing the test of time is key for us – not so much profitability or AUM,” Bordier disclosed. To remain relevant, he revealed that the , Bordier & Cie had added business lines instead of “completely changing who we are”. He also emphasised the importance of diversifying the business’s revenue stream as private banks derive their revenue from custody, management and transaction fees. “How can you do more? An example is to add a family office service offering and generate service fees from there,” he said.

Conversely, Bordier said that if there isn’t much growth in revenue then cost will have to be reduced by moving some parts of the business to lower-cost jurisdictions or cut down on headcount.

Bordier also observed that private banking success depends on staying ahead of the curve: “If banks do not transform, they run the risk of becoming irrelevant in the next era.” One area of weakness he pointed out is that private banks don’t data mine using the technologies available to them: “There’s a lot more to be done in the infrastructure of banks and how they can use technology in a better way.”


Masterclass – Getting it right in an increasingly transparent world: Ow Kim Kit, Partner – Banking & Finance, Corporate at RHT Law Taylor Wessing

As the private banking industry shifts towards a more transparent paradigm following increasing distrust and decreasing customer loyalty, Ow Kim Kit – Partner of Banking & Finance, Corporate at RHT Law Taylor Wessing – addressed issues relating to automatic exchange of information, the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Singapore.

Noting that the industry has become so sophisticated that institutions are struggling with compliance and regulatory measures and that there is heightened sensitivity to people using platforms as money mules and conduits, Kit said that there is a need for a culture of collective responsibility among private banks – regardless of whether the issues lie with the front, middle or back-office units.

Alluding to the 1MDB scandal involving several private banks operating in Singapore, Kit also shared elements of what went wrong in those cases of failure in controls, and what incidents are considered egregious or serious breaches to regulators. She believed that prescribed guidelines are intended to assist financial institutions and not add burden to them.

Kit further said that there are two ways private banks can go about ensuring compliance: increasing interaction with the front-office via a more consultative approach and developing a common repository of information on clients, such as a white or black lists, to help speed up background checks. Summarising her presentation, she concluded: “There’s still a lot of money to be made in a tax-compliant world.”


WealthInsight presentation: Data in the digital age – How and why private banks should be looking at more data

Oliver Williams, Founding Member and head of WealthInsight


As Asia surpasses North America in wealth, private banks are pivoting towards the region in hopes of gaining a share of the wallet. Apart from the growth of wealth, the region is also undergoing an intergenerational wealth transfer. A key determinant of how private banks can successfully tap into the business of servicing HNWIs and UHNWIs is to know them well.

As Oliver Williams – founding member and head of WealthInsight – shared, 53% of UHNWIs will be entrepreneurs in 2020: “They’re going to be extremely busy and won’t have time, meaning they probably are not going to take an active interest in managing their wealth.” Hence, he believed that it will help enormously if their private banker or wealth manager knows about the specific industry or business they’re in – not just on an advisory level, but also on a social level.

Williams also revealed that 31% of UHNWIs will be between the ages of 51 and 60, adding that this goes against the media stereotype that UHNWIs are young technology billionaires rising up in Silicon Valley. Thus, there is a need for wealth managers to get information about their clients right.

According to data from WealthInsight, UHNWIs mistrust sales people who push products. “It is more sensible to use data to create services for them,” Williams said. He added that a concierge services have its uses, “maybe not so much as a business model but as a way of understanding clients”, despite all that has been said against them.