Economic uncertainties, inflation, geopolitical tensions, and sustainability investing are continuing to put pressure on private banks and wealth managers in their quest for alpha.
Although the first quarter of 2023 looked promising with the sudden reopening of China market after years of Covid-related restrictions, the second quarter was more subdued as economic recovery in the Asian giant proved slower than expected.
Private bankers who switched to the endowment model from a 60-40 allocation approach gained more flexibility in meeting their clients’ investment requirements. While the shift to fixed-income assets from equities remained a major trend, many investors were leery of going into traditional investments such as long-only mutual funds and other plain vanilla investments. Thus, private bankers and wealth managers were on the lookout for alternative assets.
In alternatives, hedge funds are playing a major role in generating outperformance compared to private equity, private credit, and real estate.
This is because hedge funds, as an asset class, can generate absolute returns when there is a clear trend in the markets. There was a clear downward trend in the equities market from January to October 2022, based on the performance of S&P 500. But this trend has reversed with a steady upward momentum since March.
This means that private banks and wealth managers who are providing hedge fund strategies are able to generate outsized risk-adjusted returns for their clients when compared to returns from traditional assets.
In this respect, J.P. Morgan Private Bank has been consistently outperforming the market with their hedge fund strategies during the period. Other global private banks also offer their clients hedge fund strategies, but their performance has not been as good.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank also did well for private credit and multi-asset offerings during the period under review.
In fixed income, private bankers, wealth managers, and their clients are positioning their portfolios to lock in the yield on the long end of the curve on their portfolios and take advantage of the current high interest rates in anticipation of an economic slowdown.
In 2022, investors who were on a flight to safer assets were focusing on shorter-dated fixed-income instruments, particularly US treasuries and very high-grade hard-currency bonds such as euro, US dollar, sterling, and Swiss franc.
In 2023, investors are urged to put their money in bonds as the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates, to take advantage of the current record yields in fixed income.
In this aspect, J.P. Morgan Private Bank also excelled in generating alpha from their fixed-income solutions during the period under review.
Private banks and wealth managers have continued to raise awareness of sustainable and impact investing among their clients in Asia.
They have also been developing new sustainable and investing solutions as well as providing new sustainability tools for their clients who are transitioning their portfolios.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management showcases its ESG data platform which helps their high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients to ensure data quality, standardization and comparability of their sustainability portfolios. This has enabled the bank and their clients to conduct opportunity detection and risk assessments in a more structured and efficient way.
Family offices continued to be a growth area for private banks during the awards period, highlighting the growing importance of the business as a component of private banking and wealth management in Asia.
DBS took a lead in this business by offering the first multi-family office solution that leverages the variable capital company (VCC) structure as an alternative option for UHNW families seeking to consolidate their wealth in Singapore.
The solution is cashing is on the rising interest among UHNW families around the world to set up family offices in Singapore, which has been billed as the “Geneva of Asia” as it actively seeks to attract family offices to set up under its jurisdiction.
It is in this context that we announce 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 2023.
Private Banker of the Year
Steven Lo, regional head, Asia Pacific, at Citi Private Bank, is recognized as the Private Banker of the Year. Displaying a deep commitment to the business, he has leveraged his vast industry experience and expertise to help clients safeguard and grow their assets through the most challenging market environment, including through the pandemic.
Citi Private Bank
Citi Private Bank is recognized as Best Nexgen Private Bank, Asia. With its well-established Next Generation programme, Citi PB continues to serve the requirements of its nexgen clients.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank
J.P. Morgan Private Bank is the Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Asia, for being one-step ahead of its peers in investment performance.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank also wins as the Best Private Bank for Impact Investing, Asia. It has strengthened its well-performing Global Impact Fund by hiring a new head of impact due diligence who is responsible for building its flagship portfolio.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management (BNPP WM) is recognized as the Best ESG Private Bank, Asia and Best Private Bank for Impact Investing, Asia – Highly Commended. On ESG, BNPP WM showcased its ESG data platform which helps HNW and UNHW clients to ensure data quality, standardization and comparability of their sustainability portfolios. On impact investing, BNPP WM has become a leading voice in positive impact and sustainability, frequently sharing our expertise and insights into trending themes and pressing issues with its UHNW and HNW clients.
BNPP WM is also Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Asia – Highly Commended and Best Private Bank for UHNWIs, Hong Kong for continuously being one of the top private banks that provide bespoke wealth management services to meet the needs of UHNW clients in the Hong Kong market and across Asia.
BNPP WM wins as Best Nexgen Private Bank, Asia – Highly Commended for continuing to provide for the special requirements of its Nexgen clients by maintaining a high activity level and close dialogue with them amid the highs and lows of market cycles.
BNPP WM is also recognized as Best Private Bank for Philanthropy, Asia for its philanthropic solutions that are part of the bank’s positive impact solutions.
DBS Private Bank
DBS Private Bank (DBS PB) is recognized as Best Private Bank, Asia. The bank generated good risk-adjusted returns on their investment products despite the challenging market environment. It was also nimble in tweaking its model portfolio to stay ahead of the curve. DBS’s family office capabilities and ESG offerings were also ahead of most of its peers in the market. In terms of net new money growth, DBS experienced huge net new money growth in Hong Kong and Singapore,
DBS Private Bank (DBS PB) is recognized as Best Private Bank, Singapore and Best Private Bank, Hong Kong, the second time that one private bank has won the award in both markets. DBS is proving itself to be the go-to bank for clients who are diversifying their portfolios both in terms of investment and geography.
DBS PB also wins as Best ESG Private Bank, Singapore and Best ESG Private Bank, Hong Kong – Highly Commended based on its pioneering work among Asian clients, helping them integrate ESG investing into their core portfolios, supporting companies that reflect their values, future-proofing their investments, and driving positive change.
DBS PB is also the Best Private Bank for Family Office, Singapore and Best Private Bank for Family Office, Hong Kong. DBS is the leading private bank for servicing family offices by leveraging government initiatives in both jurisdictions to promote family office development.
DBS PB grabs the award for Best Private Bank, HNWIs – Asia and Best Wealth Manager, Asia as it continues to focus on servicing the requirements of HNWI and mass affluent clients while other banks are retreating from this client segment.
Julius Baer is recognized as Best Boutique Private Bank, Asia as it presses on as a pure-play private bank in Asia through dedicated partnerships in key markets such as Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and Thailand.
HSBC Private Bank
HSBC Private Bank wins the award for Best ESG Private Bank, Hong Kong for continuing to help clients in the territory to integrate ESG into their diversified portfolios despite challenging market conditions by providing a full range of sustainable and impact investing solutions.
HSBC Private Bank is also recognized as Best Private Bank Experience, Asia for enhancing the banking experience of its clients through digital and technology solutions that are especially helpful in navigating volatile markets.
PT Bank HSBC Indonesia is recognized as Best Wealth Manager, Indonesia for its dedicated efforts in beefing up its digital capabilities. In 2022, it introduced the HSBC Mobile Banking App, among the first and most technologically advanced apps of its kind in the domestic market.
ICBC Private Banking
ICBC Private Banking wins the award for Best Private Bank, China. As one of the leading players in the private banking sector in China, the bank continues to generate double-digit growth in assets under management (AUM) despite the large base. The bank has been providing a client-centric, differentiated, refined and scenario-based private banking client service ecosystem. The bank’s service quality is especially recognized by SME owner-type clients.
Ping An Bank Private Bank
Ping An Bank Private Bank is Best Private Bank for Family Office, China. Ping An Bank has upgraded the Ping An family office service to cover six fields including wealth management, health management, inter-generational growth, charity planning, corporate think tank, and legal tax planning. The bank continues to improve its service quality to cater to the growing demands of wealthy families in China.
Mintrust wins as Best Boutique Wealth Manager, China. Despite a regulatory shake-up and market downturn, Mintrust recorded solid growth in revenue and net income last year. Clients, especially the “new wealth” generation in China, have praised the quality of its services.
Cathay United Bank Private Banking
Cathay United Bank Private Banking wins the award for Best Private Bank – Taiwan and Best Private Bank HNWIs, Taiwan. With its strong intra-group/intra-bank collaborative culture, the bank is capable of meeting client's needs in both the personal and professional areas. Its comprehensive product suite helps clients construct tailor-made portfolios to better reflect their financial goals. The bank’s solid Taiwanese roots and long-term relationships in Greater China and Asean countries enable the bank to better service clients in the HNWI category in their cross-border needs.
CTBC Bank is Best Private Bank, Taiwan - Highly Commended. CTBC Bank is among the dominant players in the wealth management and private banking sector in Taiwan. With its wealth management 2.0 licence, the bank has been aggressively acquiring market share among high-end clients, providing exclusive products and services.
Taipei Fubon Bank Exclusive Banking
With a focus on family office business, Taipei Fubon Bank Exclusive Banking wins Best Private Bank for Family Office, Taiwan. With its “Fu-Yu-Heng-Chuan” customer service model and cooperation with Lombard Odier, the bank is focused on addressing corporate and family inheritance issues facing Taiwan’s wealthy families.
E.SUN Bank wins as Best Wealth Manager, Taiwan. The bank has displayed dedication in servicing a wide customer base, leveraging both AI-driven mobile and online platforms as well as a professional team with an average of over 12 years of experience in financial services. E.SUN also operates an "invitation only" wealth management membership programme, offering VIP customers an exclusive and prestigious service experience.
Shin Kong Bank
Shin Kong Bank is Best Wealth Manager, Taiwan – Highly Commended. The bank has been improving customer experience by leveraging digital channels, employing big data analysis, improving product offerings, and strengthening talent training. It has been aggressive in broadening its client base, with retail clients attesting the quality of its products.
Far Eastern International Bank
Far Eastern International Bank is the Best Wealth Manager Experience – Privilege Services, Taiwan winner. The bank continues to be innovative when it comes to providing privileged services to clients. FEIB has tapped the metaverse opportunity by creating its own “meta-ecosystem” based on the speciality branch concept at the initial stage.
Nuvama Private, formerly Edelweiss Private Wealth Management, is named Best Private Bank, India for posting the best performance for its products and solutions in the Indian market during the awards period. The entry of new majority shareholders has strengthened its financial position, making it the strongest private bank in the domestic market so far.
Kotak Private Banking
Kotak Private Banking is recognized as the Best Private Bank, India – Highly Commended with peers viewing it as the major competitor across all market segments.
BDO Private Bank
BDO Private Bank is the Best Private Bank, Philippines. In 2022, it opened its first offshore branch in Singapore to serve the growth requirements of its clients. 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.
UnionBank Private Banking
Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank Private Banking) is named Best Private Bank, Philippines – Highly Commended. In 2022, Union Bank further strengthened its private banking franchise with strong performance, digital capabilities, and partnerships overseas, making it one of the top players in the country’s private banking sector.
Union Bank is also recognized as Best Nexgen Private Bank – Philippines. It is the only private bank in the country with a dedicated nexgen programme that is acknowledged by clients for its uniqueness and capability to meet their requirements.
KASIKORNBANK Private Banking
KASIKORNBANK Private Banking is recognized as the Best Private Bank, Thailand and Best Private Bank – HNWIs, Thailand. In 2022, Kbank further strengthened its capabilities key initiatives including integration of alternative assets, focus on sustainability, empowering clients, and merging into the digital lifestyle of their private banking and HNWI clients.
Barclays Private Clients, India
Barclays Private Clients, India, a unit of London-based Barclays Bank, is Best Private Bank – UHNWIs, India. Despite the challenging market conditions, Barclays was able to increase income for its clients by offering competitive investment products and solutions. It also substantially increased its cost-to-income ratio which is not common among its peers during the awards period.
Avendus Wealth Management
Avendus Wealth Management is recognized as Best Private Bank – UHNWIs, India – Highly Commended for its continuing focus on client engagement that has produced strong growth and investment opportunities both for the clients and itself.
360 One, formerly IIFL Wealth, is Best Private Bank – HNWIs, India. In 2022, it changed its branding to reflect its resilience, agility, and growth, as it continued to build its strength in the HNWI market. During the awards period, it recorded strong AUM growth, providing a responsive client-servicing model, advanced digital capabilities, and well-rounded investment solutions.
ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management
ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management is Best Private Bank - HNWIs, India - Highly Commended. ICICI Securities' portfolio and robo advisory tool provides a complete view of a client's portfolio across multiple advisors, brokers, and wealth managers, as well as real time valuation, and intelligent analytics among other value-added services.
Waterfield Advisors wins Best Private Bank for Family Office, India. Waterfield continues to be the leading private bank that specializes in servicing family offices in the market. Its investment and wealth solutions for family offices are way ahead of its peers in terms of flexibility, competitiveness, and performance.
Motilal Oswal Private Wealth
Motilal Oswal Private Wealth is Best Wealth Manager, India. In 2022, Motilal enhanced its wealth management capabilities with the ability to track market valuations through a proprietary metric, as well as a scientific approach to portfolio construction through improved technology in the back-end of its processes, enabling clients to be more efficient in their asset allocation.
Capital League is Best Boutique Wealth Manager, India. In 2022, the firm continued to be well-regarded by its clients because of its impressive servicing capabilities, strong advisory, and the sound financial performance of its investment solutions.
Alpha Capital is recognized as Best Boutique Wealth Manager, India – Highly Commended for continuing to enhance its service through both technology and non-technology initiatives. It further sharpened its focus on ESG and similar social impact initiatives, and achieved strong business growth.
Equirus Wealth Private Limited
Equirus Wealth Private Limited wins as Best Wealth Manager Experience, India for continuing to build on its purely digital approach to wealth management, with greater focus on value proposition, products, services, and research, and for its strong business growth.
Maybank Private is recognized as Best Private Bank, Malaysia. As the leading investment solutions provider and wealth partner, Maybank offers services that diversify client assets, providing trusts and insurance as well as corporate banking solutions Asean-wide, thus fulfilling “One Bank” approach on a regional scale.
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia
PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) wins as Best Private Bank – HNWIs, Indonesia as it remains the leading bank servicing HNWI clients and mass affluent clients in this market.
LCA Solutions is recognized as Best Family Office, Hong Kong. It helps clients monetize or find a strategic partner for their family business by assessing and reviewing their various options. LCA Solutions also help in evaluating the business and drafting marketing materials to attract potential investors.
Zhong Lun Law Firm
Zhong Lun Law Firm is recognized as Best Law Firm, China. As the leading Chinese law firm in tax law and individual and family wealth planning, Zhong Lun has been servicing clients from various industries, including internet, high-tech, funds, finance, manufacturing, real estate, energy resources, logistics, trade, entertainment, media, sports, and professional services. The firm offers comprehensive wealth planning advice for UHNW clients, including asset allocation, family trust and insurance planning, wealth safety protection, wealth succession, as well as philanthropy.
Editors’ Triple Star
Cathay United Bank
Cathay United Bank wins the Editors’ Triple Star for achievements in fintech innovation and ESG integration. The bank has launched the first Cathay ROBO Investment Platform, incorporating ESG principles into fund selection. With its comprehensive product suite, the bank helps investors to achieve their sustainable investing goals.
Fosun Wealth wins the Editors’ Triple Star for its one-stop wealth management services via the in-house mobile app Xingcaifu. The company offers online investment advisory, providing not only wealth management but also value-added services.
Panhe Family Office
Panhe Family Office wins the Editors’ Triple Star for its advisory services for HNW families. Panhe designs the family office service sector into modules so that clients can establish their own family “defence system”. It has maintained a long-term and solid bond with its clients, some of whom have set up their own family offices or family trusts supported by Panhe’s advisory.
For the complete list of awards, please click here.