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INVESTMENT BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Global wealth managers double down to capture Asia's tech-savvy crazy rich millennials

Innovative fintechs are filling in gaps in order to meet the complex digital demands of this booming client base.

Wealth managers across the globe are relentlessly re-evaluating their agendas, tools and strategies in an effort to meet the evolving financial requirements of Asia’s ultra-rich clientele. As discussed at Asian Banking & Finance Priority Banking & Wealth Management Conference 2018 in Singapore, Asia holds the distinction as the world’s largest high net-worth market with 58% of the world’s new billionaires in 2017 hailing from APAC to hold a combined net worth of US$2.7t.

Kimmis Pun, Managing Director, Head of Private Banking at VP Bank observed that the region’s ultra-rich clients aim for a holistic generational wealth transfer solution that takes into account wealth creation, enhancement, protection and transition.

One prominent strategy that the region’s high net-worth clients can deploy would be to monetise their art collections as art ranks amongst assets with significant investment returns, said Benjamin Szeto, Partner & Deputy Head, Private Wealth Practice at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing.

With generational wealth transfer shifting ultra-rich assets towards the millennial population, speakers unanimously highlighted the need for the wealth management industry to shed old beliefs and adapt to serve the customers of tomorrow.

“The core is cracking,” Eiichiro Yanagawa, Senior Analyst at Celent said in his presentation, as he called for a reboot in asset management fundamentals through an approach that embraces cloud technologies, outsourcing, mutualisation, shared services and utilities, distributed ledger technology and AI.

On their part, Mark Surgenor, Head of Wealth, Asia-Pacific at HSBC Hong Kong, makes sure that the bank stays ahead of the wealth management game through its wide array of personalised and bespoke wealth solutions that focuses on sustained engagement from pre-relationship to relationship maintenance.

In their push towards a digitally-powered business model, Salisa Hanpanich, EVP, First Division and Segment Management Division at Siam Commercial Bank cites their bank’s wealth management offering called wPlan which offers an investment proposal based on customer’s risk profile.

“Digitisation is top of mind for banks given the need to address productivity gap, as well as serve Asia’s younger tech-savvy clients,” echoed Avishek Nandy, Principal at Bain & Company.

Retail banks stand to benefit through higher AUM by properly tapping on the digital wealth economy, a business that is poised to grow to around $300b by 2025, Bhaskar Prabhakara, CEO at WeInvest said citing McKinsey data. 

Similarly, the use of data and analytics will continue to remain relevant in the digitisation efforts of wealth managers especially to enhance operational efficiency, customer experience and advisor productivity as well as provide access to technology solution or investor base, said Anutosh Banerjee, Partner, Financial Services at Oliver Wyman.

Nilanshuk Haldar, Head of Financial Services Partners, APAC at Amazon Web Services makes the case for cloud technology as an enabler of wealth management to offer personalised experience, promote organic growth and acquire new customers.

“Robo is the new reality for wealth management,” argued Aki Ranin, Co-founder & COO of Bambu in his presentation. 

Technology is also effective in plugging investment pain points which are largely anchored on the traditional business model’s inconvenience, lack of transparency, basic and expensive features, noted Michele Ferrario, Co-Founder & CEO at StashAway. “Technology can help deliver coherent, holistic investment ideas directly to the customer through a self-service platform. So that the advisor can focus on added value topics." 

The ABF Priority Banking & Wealth Management Conference was held on 04 December 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. Please email andrea@charltonmediamail.com for any event inquiries.

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