Not quite institutional clients or ultra high net worth, the family office clientele demand very specific skills from their private banks. Often, these clients are still in the process of articulating their raison d’etre, and the alliance between family offices and their service providers evolves with it, recasting what family office clients value in the service of a private bank almost on an annual basis. While some family offices rank their providers by execution capability and pricing flexibility, others value access to private deals and sophisticated structuring capability.
Whichever the case, it is every bank’s ambition to be elevated from being a service provider to the family office, to being its trusted advisers and most influential gatekeepers. One bank has made this transition and very successfully cemented its position as the adviser of choice to Asia’s most sophisticated as well as new emerging family offices. Credit Suisse has proven itself as the private bank of choice for Asia’s wealthiest families.
The experience of its family office team is the key differentiator of the bank’s family office platform. Bernard Fung, the bank’s Head of Family Office Services and Philanthropy Advisory, Asia Pacific, spent several years as the Chief Executive of Innotech Advisors, the single family office and investment vehicle of Lord Sainsbury of Turville. Having been a client himself, Fung is able to tailor the bank’s family office service offering so that it is both relevant to, and adds value for, its clients.
The resultant kinship with clients has resulted in a rare alignment of goals between principal and provider, with the bank even acting as a mentor to several single family offices.
Transcending the industry practice of attracting and retaining family office clients by offering competitive prices on execution, Credit Suisse has taken a thoughtful approach to this pioneering role, and contributed to the family office ecosystem consistently and meaningfully.
Over the years, this contribution has taken varied forms. From its much lauded Family Office Hub in Singapore, to hosting innumerable industry fora that foster dialogue rather than deals, to investing in building a platform and capabilities well before they are needed by the industry.
For all these and more, Credit Suisse, which has now won this accolade for four of the five years since the awards were inaugurated, is the deserved winner of the Asian Private Banker 2015 Best Private Bank – Family Office Services Award.