Awards for Distinction 2020 – Best Private Bank – CIO Office

2020 Winners

Best Private Bank – CIO Office

Credit Suisse

John Woods
Chief Investment Officer Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse

It is an absolute honour to win this award for the second consecutive year. This recognition is a reflection of the calibre of our team and our ability to provide timely investment insights. Despite challenging market conditions, we stayed close to clients and regularly delivered content through multiple virtual channels. That was very well received, with client satisfaction rating measuring over 99%. Our global platform and connectivity allowed us to provide valuable expert views which translated into strong portfolio performances with our well-timed market calls.

The market collapse in March 2020, followed by a strong risk assets rally, resulted in a major dispersion of investment performance across financial institutions. The uncertainties surrounding the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the US elections, and Sino-US trade tensions fanned market volatility. Yet, Credit Suisse Private Banking capitalised on the market turmoil in 2020 and played to its strength, recording the “single most successful year” of generating alpha for both global and Asian balanced mandates since 2015.

Such a robust performance could not have been achieved without quality tactical calls throughout the year. At the beginning of 2020, the bank took profit from global equities by turning neutral following a strong rally in late 2019, after realising that the asset class may have been overpriced back then. On 25 March 2020, in the wake of a major market downturn, Credit Suisse turned overweight on global equities from a neutral position, and managed to almost fully capitalise on the ensuing market rally.

In a challenging environment where face-to-face interaction and communication became more difficult, Credit Suisse proactively engaged frontline bankers and clients through direct client interactions, media events, internal calls, and RM events. 2020 saw an impressive 48% YoY increase in APAC client interactions at the bank.

On the innovation side, the bank created the Sustainability, Research & Investment Solutions (SRI) unit in 3Q20. The bank injected its house view with a focus on supertrends and sustainability. It incorporated sustainability into the overall investment process — from SAA to TAA, from security selection construction and implementation to risk management and reporting.

Worth noting (and unique among its peers) is the bank’s ‘one view’ strategy. This means that Credit Suisse’s house view is set by its investment committee and represents the entire Credit Suisse group, allowing its CIO office to directly capitalise on the combined thought leadership and knowledge bases of some 500 Credit Suisse analysts globally.

Credit Suisse Private Banking is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – CIO Office for 2020.