A flurry of new regulations and stricter compliance procedures at private banks, coupled with a global slowdown and tougher markets, has led an increasing number of experienced private bankers in Asia to exit large financial institutions to either set up shop or join an existing independent asset manager (IAM).
The segment’s unique size and needs creates a niche for product providers to tap into, but this is no easy task. Unlike dealing with gargantuan private banks with assets in the hundreds of billions, where internal campaigning efforts on a single structure could make an investment bank’s year, flexibility is critical in servicing the diverse needs of IAMs, whose in-house views, strategies, client base and appetite vary drastically.
For the second year running, IAMs in Asia have recognised Leonteq’s servicing of this niche.
“The fact that Leonteq was built to service this segment of the market and that it remains our core business, underscores our expertise and commitment,” says Leonteq’s Jeremy Ng, whose regional business includes a dedicated team of eight that covers the segment.
This year, Leonteq was once again able to demonstrate its excellence in delivering bespoke solutions to IAMs through its cross-asset team. Ng cites, for example, its ability to offer implementable solutions without losing the efficiency of OTC markets. For example, it has implemented swap trades into a securities format for regional clients when OTC markets were not available.
Products aside, Leonteq is actively investing in its digital platform and, ultimately, the client experience. One such case is a web-based tool, ‘Constructor’, which allows users to customise and optimise investment solutions and provides market intelligence.
According to estimates, Asia’s IAM segment is expected to swell to more than US$55 billion by 2020. Asian Private Banker’s internal data reveals that more than half of Asia’s IAMs grew their AUM by 20% or more this year, meaning that the budding segment is on track to meet projections. And few will be in a better position to capture market share than Leonteq, which IAMs pick for Best Structured Products Provider to Independent Asset Managers.