Awards for Distinction 2011

2011 Gala Dinner

The gala dinner celebrating the inaugural Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction got off to a roaring start as 100 industry leaders and senior bankers gathered at the Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong on the 15th of February 2012. Colleagues and competitors mingled and shared insights, perspectives…and some champagne.

Kathryn Shih, UBS Wealth Management, this year’s Asian Private Banker of the Year delivered an acceptance speech that bore all the trademarks of the recipient’s style – sharp, perceptive, humorous, and a little sassy.

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2011 Categories & Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction 2011.

2011 Editor’s Note

Asia is widely viewed as a land of unparalleled opportunity for the wealth management industry.The region’s rapidly growing HNW population and the ensuing accumulation of capital coupled with depressing economic outlooks for the United States and in particular Europe, ensure Asia shoulders the burden of most private bank future projections of growth. Consequently, Asia has also become a hotly-contested battlefield where the world’s biggest banks wage a fierce battle for brand recognition, client loyalty and ultimately – AUMs.While the region’s potential remains undeniable, 2011 was a landmark year for the financial services industry in Asia and in particular for private banks. It brought with it unprecedented volatility, regulatory changes concerted across jurisdictions at a faster clip than was anticipated, mass credit re-ratings of individual institutions as well as sovereign debt and a wave of scepticism and even fear amongst investors that has since settled into apathy. For the best wealth managers and their banks, 2011 also brought with it unprecedented opportunity. These individuals and institutions have responded to transformational times with resilience, maturity, innovation and an unwavering commitment to their clients.

Tempting as it may have been to ride short-term market volatility, these banks have once again demonstrated the importance of temperance and of prioritising their clients’ best interests over generating alpha. Skilfully applying the lessons from the past to the problems of the present, the preeminent players in our industry reacted to the turmoil of 2011, and any associated financial losses, by communicating with stakeholders – employees, shareholders, media and clients included – in a forthright manner.

As rising cost-income ratios threaten disruption across the private banking industry in Asia, a select few have responded with intense soul-searching. The consequential attempt to reinvent the model for private banking in the region will help the industry as a whole move farther up the value-chain and break out of the broker-dealer model by which wealth management in the region has been constrained.

The fight for talent is an important frontier on which the battle for AUMs is being waged. Private banks in Asia who are engaged wholeheartedly in attracting and retaining experienced and motivated teams are beginning to realise that while higher remuneration may add to mounting cost pressures, it is not as effective a retention tool as inspirational leadership. The best private bankers continue to attract the best teams irrespective of the prevailing market conditions. The best leaders focus on grooming these teams to one day take over the mantle, thus fostering a culture of constancy in an industry that is often criticised for its high attrition rates.

All of the above are worthy aspirations for the industry. Whilst some private banks are still assessing their merits, others have already adopted them as best practices. Still others have made them the foundation on which they are building a solid and enduring wealth management franchise in Asia. The inaugural Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction are a celebration of these remarkable individuals and banks that epitomise the best of our industry – integrity, loyalty, flexibility and tremendous determination.

Indeed, each and every winner of these Awards for Distinction epitomises the best of our industry, demonstrating integrity, loyalty, flexibility and determination.

Shruti Advani, Editor
Asian Private Banker
January 2012

2011 Submission Guidelines


The Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction is the industry standard for excellence in private banking in the region. The awards are open to all private banks and institutions with private banking facilities across Asia Pacific. Asian Private Banker understands and respects each institution’s need for confidentiality and, as such, all submissions for the Awards are treated with the utmost privacy.


All submissions for the Awards for Distinction should be addressed to:
APB Awards for Distinction
1205 Dominion Centre
43-59 Queen’s Road East
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Electronic submissions should be addressed to To reach us by telephone, please dial +852 2529 0777.