Awards for Distinction 2020 – Best Independent Wealth Manager – Investment Advisory

Best Independent Wealth Manager Investment Advisory


Taurus Wealth Advisors Pte Ltd

Best Independent Wealth Manager – Investment Advisory

Mandeep Nalwa

chief executive officer, Asia and Middle East, Taurus Wealth Advisors Pte Ltd

“Staying truly aligned to Clients’ interests is more than just a sales assurance for Taurus Wealth. It is ingrained in the foundations and DNA of the Firm and its Client coverage model. The benefits of this approach may not be easily understood in secularly upward trending markets; but come to the fore in times of market disruption and heightened volatility. It is essential that we actively anticipate and prepare for choppy conditions, even as we optimally navigate the relative calm waters.”

Winners rationale

In the words of Taurus, the mettle of most investment advisors/managers was effectively tested for the first time in 12 years in 2020.

Unlike the SARS outbreak, an increasingly connected world meant the COVID-19 pandemic spread wider and faster than anyone expected. The resulting market drawdown tested one and all of service providers in 2020, particularly advisors vis-à-vis their client portfolios and strategies.

Having first cautioned as early as end-January about the potential of the pandemic undermining markets, Taurus worked closely with clients and the products / strategies (recommended or managed or advised by it) to de-risk their positions well ahead of the market correction in March. Since then, Taurus has been cautiously navigating participation in the subsequent corrections, even as certain higher-risk strategies that it managed have significantly outperformed.

As a consequence of this focus and a vindication of its ‘risks first’ and ‘client-oriented’ approach to servicing assets, customers’ portfolios ended up being in the green and commensurate with individual risk-return objectives.

Taurus particularly stood out in the investment advisory category for doing what is increasingly a rarity in a profit-driven world: the Singapore-based wealth manager cautioned clients on the use of leverage. This is unusual, as advisors and banks make profits off lending. The team at Asian Private Banker felt putting the client first, even at the cost of profits, set an example for the industry. This is also a shot in the arm for the independent wealth management industry as it competes with large one-stop shops.

Overleveraged portfolios forced the selling of securities, and caused significant depletion of wealth at the hands of investors in March 2020. But Taurus’ Global Dynamic Fixed Income Fund, was in the top 1 percentile globally of Emerging Market Bond Funds in 2020 with returns of around 7.4% through November of 2020. The dollar-denominated India midcap stocks fund similarly returned 5%, demonstrating that the margin of outperformance was more significant during the periods of significant drawdown earlier this year witnessed by the benchmark and peer funds.

Even third-party alternative funds actively monitored by Taurus for clients more than delivered on their strategies, performing better on a market neutral basis — with the best-performing fund returning 20.4% between January and November 2020.

For an unprecedented level of demonstrating the true fiduciary nature of advisory services, and for bolstering that premise on the back of a demonstrated outperformance of self-managed and advised funds, Taurus Wealth Advisors wins Asian Private Bank’s Independent Wealth Manager — Investment Advisory award for 2020.

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