Awards for Distinction 2014 – Asia

AFD2014_Best Private Bank - Asia

UBS Wealth Management

Renato de Guzman Chief Executive Officer Bank of Singapore

Kathryn Shih
Head of APAC
UBS Wealth Management

Despite the naysayers, Asia continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing and most exciting wealth management markets. Naturally, it demands private banks’ rapt attention as some of the biggest and best banks in the world are locked in fierce battle for their share of Asian assets. While Asian clients continue to set the bar high, their bankers must fight hard to meet expectations of absolute return, service quality, and growth.

Whilst all banks in the region are endeavouring to deliver on these expectations by finding that magical balance between cost and income, a handful of them are also committed to spending considerable resources towards infusing value into every aspect of their client relationships. A few banks, in particular, are focussed on excellence – in their people, process, service offering and, ultimately, client experience – emerging as worthy contenders for the Best Private Bank – Asia award for 2014.

Amongst this august assemblage, UBS Wealth Management has distinguished itself on a number of fronts, emerging as the deserved winner of this award for the third time in five years.
Although assets under management (AUM) is neither the sole nor the most important criterion Asian Private Banker uses for adjudging the winner of this award, UBS’s US$1.9 trillion in private client assets, of which US$272 billion is in Asia, place it firmly in the highest echelons of private banking.

Equally significant is the stability of the bank’s senior management – a clear differentiator in a market where “CEO-cycles” rarely outlast market-cycles. Kathryn Shih, the bank’s Head of Asia Pacific, has been with UBS Wealth Management since 1987 and has been in the role since 2002.

There are many manifestations of the bank’s commitment to Asia – it has maintained a presence in the region since 1964 and two of its three global booking centres are in Asia: Hong Kong and Singapore. At the time of its submission for the award, UBS Wealth Management employed 1,189 client advisors in the region. Fittingly, its Asian wealth management franchise is an increasingly consequential contributor to the group’s net new money and profitability. Both are considered by Asian Private Banker to be important not just for the long-term wellbeing of the bank, but also for that of the industry and its clients.

As a perennial placement in the league tables of the leading private banks in the region by AUM, UBS Wealth Management, with its proven track-record, stalwart stable of senior management, sustainable business model, and platform that even competitors acknowledge as best-in-class, emerges as the deserved winner of the award for Best Private Bank – Asia in 2014.