Despite a sluggish global economy, the S&P 500 reminded the world in 2016 why it was the equity index to be reckoned with. Year-to-date, it has already more than made up for losses experienced during the dismal start of the year, resiliently grinding upwards of more than 20% since the trough.
Even so, a heartbreaking 2015 has left Asian HNWIs cautious of testing equity markets again.
“The first half of 2016 proved challenging for wealth managers in Asia, especially when contrasted with the same period in 2015 when China experienced a short-lived rally,” explains Citi’s APAC head of private client solutions, Bernard Wai.
“We have seen continued caution from investors and advisers since then, with low appetite to re-enter markets broadly. That’s only been amplified by the uncertainty and ultimately surprise around Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US.”
Despite diminished appetite, it has been business as usual for Citi.
“Citi has remained committed to serving our clients throughout the year – leveraging our strong relationships, platform and deep liquidity to address clients’ needs,” Wai says, revealing that there was no slowdown in the house’s execution of requests on the day of Brexit, US elections or in the immediate aftermath of earnings releases.
According to Wai, Citi’s ability to cement and grow market share is down to dedication and consistency, traits which will only become harder to find in this slowing and structurally transforming global economy. The industry certainly agrees. For the third consecutive year, gatekeepers at Asia’s private banks have chosen Citi as the Best Provider of US Equity-linked Structured Products.
“We want to sincerely thank our clients and the industry for again recognising us with this award,” Wai concludes. “We are even more excited about developments planned into 2017. We will be making further investments and enhancements into technology that we hope secure our leading status in US underlyings and across our multi-asset product suite.”