In a year that has seen FX rates pendulate, Citi has maintained a strong degree of flexibility while quickly responding to market volatility and constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve. Little wonder then, that it is the industry’s choice for 2015’s Best Provider of FX-linked Structured Products award.Among its broad product suite, Citi’s FX Access product has particularly resonated strongly with its Asian client base.
“The FX Access product is a unique offering that gives exposure to selected hedge fund (prime brokerage) clients. Offering enhanced choice, liquidity and low cost access, this is a strong offering into the growing discretionary portfolio managers’ space within the private banking segment,” said Bernard Wai, managing director and APAC head of private client solutions sales, Citi Markets and Securities Services.
Indeed, during the Asian financial market turbulence in August 2015, currency strategies came into favour due to their value as a portfolio diversification. Wai explained that the uncorrelated alpha returns of the FX Access product were “an exceptionally strong selling point” during the equity markets’ risk off period.
In addition, Citi has proven it can innovatively adapt to the changing landscape of private banking and wealth management in Asia by partnering with a technology provider and two external asset managers (EAMs).
In the summer of 2015, Citi leveraged its strong FX platform to work with EAMs to roll out an actively managed multi-manager FX strategy – typically available to institutional clients – that caters to two EAMs in Hong Kong and their HNW clients.
The product used Citi’s FX/Macro multi-asset manager platform – with its access to 40 hedge fund managers – to create a diversified and uncorrelated portfolio. The minimum investment was typically US$50 million. The bank set a precedent in Asia while Citi established the multi-manager platform four years ago, reaching a peak assets under management (AUM) of around US$1 billion globally in 2014.
“Citi is well equipped to deal with market volatility – as a broad multi-asset platform, and a provider of a range of global investment and hedging opportunities we have remained busy irrespective of market conditions,” Wai affirmed.