Best Private Bank – Integrated Platform
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management Asia
This is something most, if not all, universal and retail-linked banks strive for, and it would be fair to say that for those banks that do — including Morgan Stanley — the mission to realise the desired degree of integration across divisions and activities is always a work in progress. But Morgan Stanley continues to take meaningful steps — operationally and strategically — to enhance its delivery of advice, ideas, and solutions to clients whose needs typically draw on the full capabilities of the group.
To achieve this, Morgan Stanley installed a Strategic Advisory Solutions (SAS) unit in the region whose function is to enhance collaboration between the private wealth management and investment banking arms and, ultimately, drive cross-selling activities.
Indeed, SAS is a vital piece in Morgan Stanley’s one-banking proposition because, as evidenced elsewhere in the industry, the one-bank ‘promise’ typically breaks down when banks rely solely on experienced and entrepreneurial bankers to navigate the divide, without introducing structural solutions.
And considering the profile of its clients — UHNWs, corporates, and asset owners — Morgan Stanley’s ability to harness the full resources and scale of the bank to holistically cover and execute upon their needs is critical. As a result, the bank is stronger than ever in terms of facilitating IPO two-way referrals, FICM mandates, strategic financing, M&A opportunities, private placements, and bond issuances — all core activities.
The power of Morgan Stanley’s integrated approach is also evidenced by its widely vaunted research arm. Unlike some of its competitors which separate buy-side and sell-side research and content, Morgan Stanley produces a single body of institutional-grade research for its clients. Again, this is significant, in view of the sophistication of the individuals who it banks, and because of the importance of advising clients with a single voice and view. Morgan Stanley’s renowned conferences, including its annual Asia Pacific Summit in Singapore, stand as testament to this.
But crucially, the bank went a step further in 2019 by enhancing the piping between its research ideas and investment solutions. An important example of this is the recently launched thematic equity portfolio, which harnesses the bank’s flagship research on ‘Global Best Business Models’ to deliver a discretionary solution to its clients in Asia.
The Judges recognise this initiative, which demonstrates that Morgan Stanley is keenly aware of how it can differentiate on the basis of its global leadership in investment banking, sales and trading, and research and make the most of the strengths of the group to augment its open architecture platform for the benefit of its Asia Wealth Management clients. It is truly a global private bank which thinks and excels as an investment bank.
Ultimately, Morgan Stanley, and its one-banking proposition, is all the more stronger because of the steps the bank took in 2019. Morgan Stanley is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Integrated Platform for 2019.