Awards for Distinction 2013 – Asia


AFD2013_Best Private Bank - Asia

Credit Suisse

Francesco de Ferrari

Francesco de Ferrari
Head of Private Banking, Asia Pacific
Credit Suisse

Minting millionaires faster than any other region in the world, Asia continues to be at the forefront of global wealth creation and hence a battleground for the biggest and the best banks competing fiercely for their share of assets. Asian clients have set the bar high and their bankers must fight hard to meet their expectations of absolute returns, service quality and growth. No longer in its infancy, the private banking industry in Asia today defines best practices for the world and Asian clients are the most coveted group of high net worth individuals on the planet.

While all banks in the region are focused on building credible product suites, a handful of them are also spending considerable resources trying to infuse every part of their client relationship with value. A few banks are focused on excellence – in their people, processes, service offering, and ultimately in their client experience. These exceptional banks were all in the running for the award for Best Private Bank – Asia.

As compelling as the Asian wealth management story is, it has forced some private banks in the region to invest quickly – and often impulsively – seeking to buy market share and thus prove dominance, while sacrificing profitability. Hence, assets under management (AUM) are an important consideration, but not the sole criterion Asian Private Banker uses for adjudging this award.
Though it has certainly cemented its place in the league tables of the leading private banks in the region by AUM, Credit Suisse has taken a far more considered approach to growth than many of its industry peers. Executing a strategic plan that it first discussed with Asian Private Banker more than two years ago, the bank has delivered on its growth target by optimising returns, increasing wallet-share and expanding into new geographies. These results are evident in the AUM the bank has garnered – more than CHF112 billion (US$124 billion) – as well as its success in making its Japanese expansion profitable.

More pertinently though, Credit Suisse has grown its asset base in Asia by 39% over the last two years while keeping its cost/income ratio below 70%. Benchmarking itself against the industry leader in terms of assets, Credit Suisse was able to demonstrate efficiency with impressive scores in terms of both assets per banker as well as net new money per banker in the year up to September 2013.

Asian Private Banker believes this focus on profitability is critical not just for the long-term wellbeing of the bank, but also for that of the industry and its clients. Hence, Credit Suisse is the deserved winner of the award for the Best Private Bank – Asia, 2013.