The winner of the award for Best Private Bank – UHNW Services for two consecutive years, Goldman Sachs, has distinguished itself by its singular focus: Goldman Sachs’ Private Wealth Management business targets only UHNW individuals, which the firm defines as individuals with over US$100 million in net worth. Banking UHNW individuals is not just the cornerstone of its business, it is in fact this private bank’s entire business, with every aspect of its platform designed to fulfill the needs of this segment.
The source of wealth in Asia, especially in the UHNW segment, lends itself naturally to transactions built around monetisation, structuring, access to private deals and best-in-class transaction pricing, among other considerations.
In each of these areas, Goldman Sachs has dedicated resources and developed expertise. For example, a global team of transactional specialists within the wealth management business ensures that the firm can deliver maximum liquidity to clients across all major global trading markets in equities, fixed income, currencies and commodities. Access – to private deals, niche products or other alpha-linked product – is ensured through real and robust cross-divisional collaboration. Possibly, some of this collaboration is facilitated through Ron Lee, the head of the Asia business – Lee was previously head of the firm’s Investment Banking Division in Hong Kong. But the lion’s share comes from what can only be described as an institutional DNA structured around “bringing the entire firm to clients.”
While size is neither the sole nor most important criteria in adjudging this award, 2015 has been a watershed year for the firm’s footprint in Asia. The firm currently has the most number of bankers since the inception of the business, and assets under management have virtually doubled from 2010. There is also the longevity of these revenues to consider – the business mix at the bank has evolved with the fee-based and brokerage portions making more equal contributions, compared with a predominantly brokerage-driven model a few years ago.
Moreover, the firm has demonstrated a dedication to diversifying both client portfolios and its own revenue streams – crucial for the survival of both.
For all of these reasons, Goldman Sachs is most deserving of the 2015 award for Best Private Bank – UHNW Services.