Jason Moo, head Private Banking South East Asia and branch manager Singapore, Bank Julius Baer shares his views with Asian Private Banker in ‘The Final Word’, a year in review by the region’s private banking leaders as they share their thoughts and opinions on key issues around industry trends, investments, regulations, and technology in 2021, as well as providing their predictions for 2022.
The previous 12 months have proved that private banks can draw in significant amounts of net new assets and client accounts as the industry has adapted to widespread travel restriction due to COVID-19. With the potential easing of these restrictions in 2022, new variants aside, to what extent will private banks return to their pre-pandemic methods of sourcing clients and gathering assets?
We are not out of the woods yet, despite the world’s governments and medical institutions doing their best to comprehend the implications of this pandemic. How long it will be before we can consider the pandemic over, nobody has a definite answer to that.
The global wealth management landscape will be reshaped by the pandemic, as digital engagement with clients will grow on a larger scale. During the pandemic, many of us found new ways to connect with clients, and with more enhanced digital offerings than before.
Julius Baer globally has invested in digital capabilities — such as remote working infrastructure, video call capabilities, enhanced e-Banking features and digital signature chat applications — as an integral part of providing a personalised client service during the pandemic. This has created efficiencies not only for our relationship managers, but for the front and back-office teams as well.
Offering guidance at an accelerated rate will remain a key strategy to enabling sustainable growth for the future, and investors’ growing interest in key topics such as ESG, robo-advisory, and crypto-assets present opportunities for new digital platforms to bear innovation. The industry must adapt to these trends, which are requiring more agile and digitally enabled private banks.
Sourcing talent in the region’s private bank industry is becoming tougher than ever, pushing up hiring costs across the region. How can private banks ensure they have adequate access to the talented relationship managers and other front-line staff over the coming years? What is the key to attracting the right candidates?
Our culture, values and purpose are what set us apart from the competition. The value we place on the adaptability and resilience of our staff is higher than ever, and we attract talent with the merit to sustain the highest standards of service for clients.
Whether the trends of the ‘new normal’ will continue to shift or slightly revert in the coming years, the capabilities we have had to explore — such as working from home or taking on flexible work hours within our teams — have been crucial to overcoming the many obstacles borne from the pandemic, and it is likely that incoming talent will be familiar with modern systems of business made possible by sophisticated remote access. It is important that we stay relevant not only to clients, but for staff to be able to engage appropriately with all our partners and stakeholders in a contemporary way.
A core part of the digitalisation journey has been in training staff to be fluent in their virtual client engagement skills, and we will invest in digital in 2022 and beyond with online training programmes for our relationship managers, helping them practise and improve their client experience through technology. We have enhanced our learning and development initiatives and employees are encouraged to take advantage of our online development courses.
We firmly believe that that the professional and personal competence of our team is at the very heart of our success, and paramount to the ongoing employability of our staff. It remains vitally important for us to equip and empower employees so that they may continuously learn, innovate, and grow in order to stay competitive and drive sustainable performance.
Meet 2021’s industry leaders in the full round up of of Asian Private Banker‘s The Final Word 2021.