Awards for Distinction 2019 – Best Private Bank – Fund Advisory

Best Private Bank Fund Advisory


Morgan Stanley
Private Wealth Management Asia

Best Private Bank – Fund Advisory

Ernest Chan

head of investment management services, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management Asia

“We are honoured to receive this award. For us it is an important milestone that reflects the evolution of our fund advisory business. The team’s focus is on offering a wide variety of best-in-class products which deliver on clients’ alpha expectations. Client satisfaction is the driver and we continually work to ensure we are delivering ‘the right product to the right client at the right time’.

Our platform benefits greatly from Morgan Stanley’s top-ranked macro and equity research. We seek to translate their thought leadership and ideas into investment opportunities and ultimately strong returns.

In 2019, we developed our diverse platform of top performing and innovative fund advisory products. We take pride in our ability to understand and meet the needs of the UHNW sector in such unpredictable and challenging market conditions.

Finally, we take this opportunity to thank our in-house and external asset management partners for their support in helping us achieve great outcomes for clients, and we look forward to continuing to offer our market-leading service and range of products into 2020 and beyond.”

Winners rationale

2019 was characterised by a mature economic cycle and dented investor risk sentiment, with a U-turn in central banks’ behaviour and an uncertain geopolitical situation driving much of the short-term market movements. With a focus on quality rather than quantity, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management Asia in 2019 saw a reversion to fundamentals by only targeting those ‘best in class’ high conviction managers and mandates. In a year when markets saw a widening trade range and heightened uncertainties, the bank’s robust business and investment results vindicated its approach.

Well known for its immense depth and breadth of research globally, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management Asia took a holistic and fully integrated approach to providing fund advisory to clients. On its open-architecture platform, only those top-notch funds were selected, which then went through an in-depth due diligence and onboarding process, taking into consideration both operational and investment aspects.

When fixed income — especially fixed maturity bond funds — served as the major driver for fund inflows within the private banking industry in 2019, Morgan Stanley’s top-ranked in house research led and guided clients to diversify their portfolios into different asset classes and investment strategies. On the advisory front, key investment ideas of the bank were categorised into three segments: 1) secular growth themes with a focus on digitalisation of financial and China onshore opportunities 2) late stage investments with an income tilt and 3) evergreen and absolute return offerings concentrating on those funds that have a ‘tried and tested’ investment philosophy and portfolio construction process.

These three segments were gaining significant traction among the private clients throughout 2019, as investors continued to search for yield and alpha. As a result, a strong inflow with strong outperformance of these assets brought the bank’s fund penetration rate to a significant 51% as of October 2019.

Success in business could not be achieved without a robust pre- and post-sales client service. Based on the individual needs and requirements of each Morgan Stanley client, the bank followed a stringent KYC and risk profiling procedure which was an automated process which showed clients only investment opportunities that suited them and for which they were eligible. On after sales, Morgan Stanley maintained strong partnerships with various asset management firms and offered clients direct access to key portfolio managers and specialists, which significantly helped improve portfolio transparency and client satisfaction.

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management Asia is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Fund Advisory for 2019.

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