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Maybank Private eliminates “territorial” mindset for RMs: Alvin Lee

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Maybank Private is incentivising its relationship managers (RMs) to adopt a regional mindset as the bank embarks on its next phase of expansion and growth, according to Alvin Lee, head of group wealth management and Singapore community financial services at Maybank.

“Boundaries are broken down and RMs are empowered with the capability to book clients in any of the countries that we have onshore booking centres,” Lee told Asian Private Banker, referring to Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong (China).

“They are recognised for managing the total banking relationships of their clients region-wide, thereby eliminating any ‘territorial’ mindset.”

This cross-market approach, according to Lee, is interwoven with the development of the lender’s client coverage model which is becoming increasingly region-centred, thereby facilitating the holistic management of clients’ onshore and offshore assets.

“Clients have access to a primary RM based in the country they reside in to manage their local needs, and the option to choose a secondary RM based in another country of their choice to manage their offshore needs,” he explained.

“We cannot operate in silos”
Maybank Private’s push for a regional coverage model is an integral component of its wider leverage model that sees the five-year-old wealth management arm tapping into the capabilities, resources, and “huge base” of high net worth individuals within Maybank Group’s existing client and business banking network across Southeast Asia and Greater China.

“To meet our clients’ personal and business needs, we cannot operate in silos,” Lee stressed, articulating the bank’s intentions to establish a stronger business presence regionally and increase its share of profit contributions to the group.

On a day-to-day basis, the leverage model is manifested in the form of private wealth client meetings that involve joint proposals with business, corporate, or investment banking staff, with the aim of offering clients a more holistic value proposition.

“There is an institutionalised focus to create the inherent practice of cross-selling wealth management across all business segments,” Lee emphasised, adding that the development of cross-selling private banking services entails investing significant time and effort in raising awareness amongst and working with other business segments.

“As the level of awareness increases, we naturally see better-quality client referrals coming through,” he added.

Platform integration
To realise its plans for regional coverage, one of the key strategic initiatives at Maybank Group’s wealth management centre of excellence (COE) — charged with promoting best practices in operational excellence, product development, and governance — is the rollout of the Avaloq system, already implemented in Singapore, across Maybank Private’s various markets.

“On top of our agenda for 2019 is building a fully integrated wealth platform across our wealth segments,” Lee said. “This is a crucial piece of our strategy in providing our clients with a full suite of wealth solutions, a consolidated portfolio view, and the ability to conduct seamless transactions across the region.”

In October 2018, Maybank Private stated its intention to quadruple its AUM from US$10 billion — across Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong — to US$40 billion.

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