China Merchants Bank
With the lion’s share of China’s US$4.8 trillion in high net worth wealth still residing on the mainland, the onshore private banking opportunity in Asia’s largest economy has long been coveted by both global and local houses attempting to gain market share from a blossoming industry.
But constraints with accessing foreign markets, a relatively financially-inexperienced client base and a limited talent pool all pose high barriers to entry even for China’s gargantuan domestic lenders. Despite the hurdles however, China Merchants Bank has outshone its ambitious rivals in a highly-competitive playing field with its dominant presence, a growing stable of offerings and a commitment to deepening client relationships through a plethora of ideas.
China Merchants Bank first launched its private banking arm in 2007 with an eye on capturing a share of wallet of China’s high net worth individuals, which the bank defines as those with investible assets beyond RMB10 million (US$1.5 million). Fast forward eight years later and the unit has established 39 centres in 28 key cities in China, posting along the way phenomenal growth figures including over US$180 billion in assets under management invested across trusts, discretionary mandates while providing over 2,000 products.
In addition to the high net worth millionaires, China Merchants Bank has also developed its ultra high net worth business that has nimbly launched new targeted offerings. Since 2012, the bank continued to retain its pioneering status in the industry, rolling out offerings for family office services, wealth inheritance and discretionary portfolio management which have all resulted in significant volumes of business.
In its bid to engineer a truly dynamic investment process, the bank has also developed a global asset allocation system (GAAS) by leveraging from some the world’s leading theories in VAR (value at risk)-based risk management, portfolio investment and asset allocation. Through this, China Merchants Bank has constructed tailor-made portfolios complete with systematic performance reports, while being able to test historical returns and simulate future earnings.
This commitment to excellence and an ambition to pioneer China’s domestic wealth management market makes China Merchants Bank the deserving 2015 winner of the inaugural Asian Private Banker Best Private Bank – China Domestic Award.