Awards for Distinction 2018 – Best Wealth Manager – China Domestic



Noah Holdings Limited


Kenny Lam

group president,
Noah Holdings Limited

“2018 has been a year of market volatility. Clients’ confidence has been affected and what they are looking for now is a sustainable platform to help guide them through these times. As the first and largest private wealth platform in China, Noah has focused this year on investing for the long term. We have substantially upgraded our frontline training systems and our online client interface. We have also broadened our services to go beyond investments and built a global platform. All in all, we are bullish on China in the long run and are putting our resources on all things long term.”

Winners rationale

In 2018, Noah Holdings Limited (“Noah”) further cemented its status as the standard-setter in China’s wealth management industry and the go-to solutions provider for global investors with an eye on China. No mean feat considering the hurdles thrown up by China’s wide-spanning financial and regulatory reforms and a market environment that dented investor sentiment — speed bumps that prompted soul-searching within the domestic market and are suggestive of near-term consolidation.

Backed by its industry-leading asset management arm Gopher Asset Management, Noah remained resilient and, in fact, notched up quality growth amid the turbulence — a testament of its commitment to providing best-in-breed solutions and services to domestic and internationally exposed Chinese investors.

Indeed, the firm continues to post robust and sustainable growth figures. As of September 2018, cumulative AUA — or assets distributed through Noah — increased 24% year-on-year to RMB 583 billion, more than any other independent wealth manager in China. The total year-to-date transaction value reached RMB 84.9 billion, including a 19% year-on-year jump in Q3 alone, and AUM with Gopher hit RMB 164 billion, up from RMB 148 billion at the end of 2017, with 59% of those assets in private equity investments. Perhaps even more importantly, while Noah along with the rest of the market saw a drop in client one-off commissions, it was able to offset this with a strong pickup in recurring service fee revenues and performance-based income.

These results point to Noah’s evolution, from being product-driven to client-driven under a new ‘symbiotic’ setup that places the RM-client relationship at the centre. That’s a game changer in China, where brute-force distribution remains the dominant modus operandi and clients are often neglected when it comes to post-sales servicing and holistic wealth management advisory.

Furthermore, Noah remains the industry leader for client education — a service that is offered by way of the firm’s Enoch Education — which is critical to advancing investor expectations around risk-adjusted returns and long-term asset allocation. So too does the firm place an inordinate emphasis on the upskilling of its massive relationship manager pool. In 2018, Noah sent its top 100 frontliners to the Wealth Management Institute in Singapore and Wharton School in the US for further study.

The year also marked a number of major strategic achievements for Noah, including further international expansion headlined by strong business traction in its Canada and Australia offices and the expansion of its Singapore office, supplementing its presence in Hong Kong and the US. Of particular note is Noah’s establishment of a global family office platform in Australia which aims to open up investment channels for family offices in both China and Down Under and explore cooperation in wealth planning. Noah was also included on the MSCI China Index, becoming the first independent wealth manager to be selected.

Noah Holdings Limited is Asian Private Banker’s Best Wealth Manager – China Domestic for 2018.

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