Awards For Distinction 2016 – Best Private Bank – Discretionary Portfolio Services



Stefan Lecher

Stefan Lecher
head of client portfolio management, APAC
investment products and services
UBS Wealth Management

Slowly but surely, HNWIs in Asia are coming to understand the value of discretionary portfolio management (DPM) solutions, especially in a difficult market environment that demands an immediate response to market events, global diversification and professional know-how. Earning the trust of clients to the extent that they are willing to delegate their assets is the ultimate prize for private banks that follow the Swiss tradition of long-term wealth preservation.

But any daring venturer will admit that achieving deep DPM penetration rates in Asia is no easy feat. This has not been helped by the fact that the size and diversity of client accounts at large private banks creates hurdles for consistent performance, customisation and personalised servicing.

UBS Wealth Management’s staunch promotion of DPM as a primary pillar for core investments could lead some to mistake the Swiss giant for a pure play. Its commitment to DPM is remarkable, as evidenced by: a budget that includes a significant share of its US$1 billion IT spend; abundant internal initiatives that involve onshore DPM-specific events; and a series of innovative mandates that address specific needs, including discretionary private equity solutions or quant strategies that reduce portfolio volatility.

“UBS’ success in discretionary portfolio management has been a function of platform, innovation, and communication,” says Stefan Lecher, head of client portfolio management APAC, investment products and services, UBS Wealth Management. “We have invested in ensuring our platform is world class and have launched several new and innovative strategies drawing on our global chief investment office. We also invest tremendous time, energy, and creativity in determining how best to guide our client advisors and our clients in using UBS’ discretionary capabilities, which is ultimately a matter of effective communication.”

The results speak for themselves: UBS in Asia boasts an above-average penetration rate, robust performance and a rapidly-growing UHNW DPM business. Yes, the journey to close the gap between Asian and European HNWIs who are well-accustomed to the approach may be far from over; but in 2016, UBS Wealth Management led the rest.

UBS is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Discretionary Portfolio Services for 2016.