Over the last decade, Asia has moved from the fringes of the global private banking industry to becoming the cornerstone of any credible global private banking footprint. Second-home to some of the most pedigreed wealth managers in the world, Asia has proved its potential as the world’s most exciting market for wealth management services. Indeed, Asian clients continue to set the bar high and their bankers must fight hard to meet their expectations of absolute returns, service quality and growth.
The fight to meet these expectations – by providing cutting edge products and service against a dynamic regulatory environment – is a fierce one. It is especially complex in Asia because of the region’s particular mix of cost considerations. While all banks in the region, then, are endeavouring to deliver on these expectations by finding that magical balance between cost and income, a handful of them are also committed to spending considerable resources toward infusing value into every aspect of their client relationships. A few banks, in particular, are focused on excellence – in their people, processes, service offering and, ultimately, client experience – emerging as worthy contenders for Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Asia Award for 2015.
Credit Suisse has distinguished itself even among this most eminent of peers, emerging as the deserved winner of this award for the second time.
Size, as denoted by assets under management (AUM) is neither the sole nor the most important criterion Asian Private Banker uses for adjudging the winner of this award. However, the bank’s US$154 billion in assets in Asia represents one of the highest organic growth in assets among institutions on Asian Private Banker’s AUM league table.
For the purpose of these awards, and one would hope, the continuing vigour of the industry – growth without cost/income efficiency is a manifestation merely of organisational energy. Not of excellence. A quarter-on-quarter relationship manager (RM) productivity comparison with the most relevant peer group, put Credit Suisse in pole position. Based on Asian Private Banker’s estimates, although AUM/RM were similar in the given quarter, NNA/RM (net new assets per relationship manager) were six times higher, while profitability of the business has also grown more than five-fold since 2011.
A recent change in global management and strategy has redoubled the bank’s commitment both to wealth management as well as Asia, giving it the sweep and the wherewithal to continue prodigious plans for both.