Awards for Distinction 2018

Since 2011, the Awards have set the benchmark for excellence in private wealth management in the Asia Pacific region. And just as the industry has evolved drastically over these years, so have the Awards, which now more than ever are recognised for the independence and rigour of the adjudication process, the calibre of participating institutions, and the global recognition they bring. Welcome to the Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction 2018.


Judging Panel

The Awards for Distinction are judged by members of Asian Private Banker’s editorial team and chaired by Sebastian Enberg, editor.

Sebastian Enberg

Sebastian Enberg is the Editor of Asian Private Banker. His background is in international politics, and Chinese foreign policy and security.

Sebastian graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Master of Strategic Studies majoring in Strategic Intelligence, and more recently, from the City University of Hong Kong with a Master of Arts. In 2012, Sebastian was awarded the university’s Top Scholar Prize for his cohort.

Richard Otsuki
Deputy Editor & Head of Investment Coverage

Richard joined Asian Private banker in 2012, where he covers a multitude of facets in Asia’s private banking industry including asset management, capital markets and recruitment.

Richard graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University with a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature with a specific focus on postmodern literary theory. In his spare time, Richard is an avid fan of basketball both as a player and spectator.

Charlene Cong
Senior Reporter

Charlene is an experienced, multi-lingual journalist covering global financial markets from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. With an in-depth understanding of different asset classes and investment solutions, she is responsible for the coverage of capital markets, funds and structured products for the region's private wealth management industry.

Charlene has an established track record of generating exclusive and impactful financial features and has been a contributor to various functions, hosting and moderating panels with C-suite leaders of the investment community.

She holds a master's degree from the University of Hong Kong and is currently a CFA Level III candidate. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Ben Yang
Editorial Director

Ben joined Asian Private Banker in 2011 as a Business Development Manager before becoming its Head of Operations shortly after. Since then, Ben has joined the editorial team as the Editorial Director.

A native of Vancouver, Canada, Ben graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications Design.

Alice So
Senior Reporter

Alice joined Asian Private Banker in 2017. As a passionate journalist and local Hong Konger, Alice previously worked at Ming Pao as an investment page reporter and Asia Television Limited as a reporter in feature news program. She received the Best New Comers (Chinese Publication) State Street Institutional Press Award in 2016.

Alice graduated with First Class Honours from the Shue Yan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications. As a Christian, she is enthusiastic in church activities and youth mentorship in her spare time, as she believes the future lies in the hands of youth.

Gigi Lam
Awards & Public Relations Manager

Gigi joined Asian Private Banker in April 2017.

Liz Mak
China Editor

Liz is the China editor of Asian Private Banker. She started her career in the media industry with Pacific Prospect, a business of Incisive Media focused on the regional fixed income and structured products markets in 2006. She has covered China's onshore institutional and wholesale asset management market since 2007 as the Greater China correspondent of AsianInvestor, a business of Haymarket Media.
Between 2010 and 2015, she has spent five years in fund management industry, having worked with some of the most storied international investment managers who invest into the Chinese domestic market through the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors programme, and participated in the industry drafting process for the China-Hong Kong Mutual Recognition of Funds programme, before she returned to writing.
Liz has interviewed Nobel laureates, China's most influential investors, senior officials at the Asset Management Association of China, China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Finance, as well as their counterparts in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
Off-duty, Liz is a cinephile, audiophile, history buff and occasional sailor.

Today, the editorial team is the most experienced and connected bureau of journalists covering private banking and wealth management in the Asia Pacific region.

Submission Guidelines & Fact Sheets

To be considered for an award, your institution is required to submit a category-specific entry in line with the procedures and criteria outlined in the Submission Guidelines, notwithstanding a few exceptions. Awards for individual persons do not require formal entries, although input is welcome from the industry.

Furthermore, the following categories require participating organisations to provide a completed fact sheet as part of the submission:

  1. Market Segment Awards (Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.)
  2. High Net Worth Services
  3. Ultra High Net Worth Services, Family Office Services
  4. CIO Office of the Year
  5. Investment Advisory
  6. Equity Advisory, Fixed Income Advisory, FX Advisory
  7. Fund Advisory, Alternative Advisory, Sustainable Investments
  8. Discretionary Portfolio Management
  9. Bespoke Discretionary Portfolio Management

Each fact sheet can be printed and filled out or completed digitally.

Asian Private Banker understands and respects participants’ confidentiality requirements and takes information security seriously. Access to submission materials is limited to the Judging Panel and strict measures are in place to ensure the security of physical and electronic materials.

Because the accuracy and success of the Awards for Distinction programme are in large part due to the transparency of participants, the Judging Panel is prepared to sign nondisclosure agreements upon request.


Private Banker of the Year

Market Segment Awards

  • Asia Pacific
  • Pure Play
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • China Domestic
  • China International
  • India Domestic
  • Global Indians
  • Indonesia Domestic
  • Indonesia International
  • Japan
  • Malaysia Domestic
  • Malaysia International
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Philippines Domestic
  • Philippines International
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan Domestic
  • Taiwan International
  • Thailand Domestic
  • Thailand International

Business Awards

  • COO of the Year
  • Employer of the Year
  • Growth Strategy of the Year
  • Training & Development
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Digital Innovation
  • Client Experience

Service Awards

  • High Net Worth Services
  • Ultra High Net Worth Services
  • Family Office Services
  • Intermediary Services
  • Wealth Planning Services
  • Next Generation Services

Investment Solution Awards

  • CIO Office of the Year
  • Investment Advisory
  • Fund Advisory
  • Equity Advisory
  • Fixed Income Advisory
  • Alternative Advisory
  • FX Advisory
  • Sustainable Investments
  • Discretionary Portfolio Management
  • Bespoke Discretionary Portfolio Management

Categories marked by this symbol are also open to independent wealth managers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is my institution required to submit an entry to be considered for an award?
A: Yes. To be considered for an award, your institution is required to submit a category-specific entry in line with the procedures and criteria outlined in this document, notwithstanding a few exceptions. Awards for individual persons do not require formal entries, although input is welcome from the industry. Furthermore, some awards require participating organisations to provide a completed fact sheet as part of the submission.

Q: Where can I find the fact sheets for the categories that require them?
A: The fact sheets will be available on this page from 14 September 2018 onwards.

Q: Is an in-person pitch necessary to be considered for an award or is an electronic/physical submission sufficient?
A: Past experience has shown that in-person (or video conference) pitches that supplement entries are invaluable for all parties involved, insofar as they provide an opportunity to discuss the finer points of a submission on a background basis.

Q: Can my institution pitch for multiple awards at the same time?
A: While an individual submission is required for each category, participants may pitch for multiple awards during a single session for the sake of convenience.

Q: How closely does the Judging Panel apply category criteria and weightings?
A: The criteria establish the framework for adjudication. We recognise that, in some cases, participants may be unable to provide some information requested. Therefore, this year, we have reduced our emphasis on absolute numbers and increased our emphasis on relative (e.g. year-on-year) indicators. At the same time, the more relevant and detailed the information we receive, the more informed our decision will be.

Q: What is the time period under consideration?
A: The timing of the Awards means we are unable to consider performance over a full calendar year (1 January – 31 December). Instead, we ask for year-to-date information with some guidance on the remaining months.

Q: Does an institution’s size affect its chances of winning an award?
A: No. The criteria has been carefully designed to mitigate scale-based bias. We recognise that for a number of categories, larger institutions may have at their disposal resources and budgets that smaller institutions do not. However, the Judging Panel, in making its decisions, prioritises quality and sustainable growth in the context of an institution’s proposition and niche within a 12-month window.

Q: What language can I submit in?
A: Where possible, please submit in English. If you would prefer to submit in another language, please contact before doing so to discuss arrangements.

Q: Is there a submission fee?
A: No.

Q: Are deadline extensions possible if my institution requires extra time to make a submission?
A: No. Due to the overwhelming number of entries we receive each year, deadlines will be strictly observed. However, if we are unable to facilitate your request for a pitching session due to scheduling conflicts, please contact at your earliest convenience to discuss alternative arrangements.

Q: When will the winners be announced?
A: Formal announcements will be made over the week of 7 January 2019. Winners will be notified ahead of time on an embargoed basis.

Q: When is the Awards for Distinction Gala Dinner?
A: The Awards for Distinction Gala Dinner will be held on 21 February 2019 at The JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. For more information, please contact Koye Sun at

Contact Us

If you have any awards-related enquiries, please contact us via or dial +852 2529 4178.

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