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VP Bank: Leading Asian clients and intermediaries safely ahead

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This is a sponsored article from VP Bank.

Christoph Mauchle, VP Bank Group’s head of client business and member of the group executive management, is committed to Asia. Asia is considered one of the most important growth markets for private banking, and Asian clients have a tremendous need for comprehensive, professional financial services. For these reasons, VP Bank has defined the Asia Pacific region as one of its target markets and sees substantial growth opportunities there.

Successful business model

VP Bank meets the market’s requirements to a tee and is pursuing a successful strategy in Asia. As a “boutique bank”, it is clearly positioned as a source of top-notch financial solutions for a highly demanding clientele. VP Bank does not engage in risky investment banking activities, nor does it offer retail banking services in Asia.

VP Bank is present in Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) as a mid-sized bank with some 60 employees. The bank’s business model is based on two strategic pillars: private banking, headed by the bank’s recent senior hire, Kimmis Pun, and the intermediaries business, headed by Sylvain Gysler.

“Our individual target markets are primarily in Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand,” Christoph Mauchle says.

VP Bank’s client advisors cater to the needs of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) with personal net assets in excess of two million Singapore dollars, as well as to the very special requirements of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs).

First class service for intermediaries

The growing number of financial intermediaries in Asia opens up yet another promising opportunity. Ever since it was founded more than 60 years ago, VP Bank has been actively engaged in this segment and today offers its excellent services also to intermediary clients in the region. Efficient banking, securities trading and administration models for fiduciaries and external asset managers, as well as personalised attention and the cementing of strategic partnerships are evidence of the bank’s resolute client orientation, optimal deployment of resources and outstanding service quality. And it continues to broaden its offering.

ProLink”, VP Bank’s information platform, is specially designed for intermediary clients. This tool offers VP Bank’s intermediary clients a simple and speedy way to access the most important information and services needed for their daily work – from extensive coverage of financial market events, to regular publications on business and economic issues, to the latest news on tax and regulatory developments, plus the relevant VP Bank forms.

“Our objective is to enable our intermediary clients to call up information with just a few clicks of the mouse, allowing them to turn their attention back to their end clients’ needs right away,” Mauchle explains. The platform is accessible via VP Bank’s website.

Interactive investment advisory

Excellent client care is a top priority at VP Bank. The advisory process is of utmost importance in order to offer clients consistently high-quality advice. For the past two years, VP Bank has utilised a new advisory software programme in its headquarters which enables systematic and high-quality investment advice grounded on scientifically based financial planning and wealth optimisation. With VP Bank’s Finfox Touch tablet version, clients participate interactively in the advisory process. The implementation of the digital advisory approach, using tablets, is a further milestone in VP Bank’s digitalisation strategy. The investment advisory software provides the client advisor with background support and makes it possible to advise clients remotely – and that is not mentioning the bank’s sophisticated e-banking, which offers smartphone access to trading capabilities.

Represented in important financial centres

VP Wealth Management (Hong Kong) Ltd was founded as an asset management company in 2006. Its core competencies are portfolio management and the administration of family offices for wealthy private clients. Investment advice, securities trading and safe custody services are also offered.

VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of VP Bank Group with a merchant bank license in Singapore and approximately 50 employees. Established in 2008, its core competencies include portfolio management and financial advice for wealthy private clients as well as services for external asset managers.

Thanks to its streamlined hierarchies, VP Bank is highly flexible. Decisions are taken expeditiously, and direct contact with top management can be arranged with minimal red tape. Intermediary clients benefit from direct access to the trading rooms in Singapore and Liechtenstein, Switzerland, which cover the key time zones for securities transaction purposes.

Dynamic growth

Growth is, of course, a primary objective of VP Bank’s strategic thrust. Compared to the saturated European markets, the trend in client assets from the Asia Pacific region continues to rise. VP Bank is keying on that trend by reinforcing its Singapore office with added staff who offer their clients outstanding value in the investment advisory and wealth consulting areas. In the next three years, the bank intends to recruit up to 40 new advisors in Asia.

“As an attractive employer, we will continue our successful client advisor recruitment campaign in 2018,” Mauchle says.With the adding of office space in Singapore’s Asia Square Tower, VP Bank has created the needed infrastructure for personnel growth.

VP Bank Singapore will also change its entity status from subsidiary to branch. This will support the bank’s growth, especially on the credit side. It will also upgrade its license from a merchant bank to a wholesale bank. VP Bank aims to implement the new structure by July 2018.

In the medium term, according to current plans, the proportion of total group revenues attributable to VP Bank’s foreign target markets will increase from the current 30% to 50% Asia will play a central role in this regard.

Personnel highlights

With the recent hiring of additional team members in Singapore, 2018 marks a further milestone in the expansion of VP Bank in the Asia -Pacific region. Within the last 12 months, VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd has strengthened the local management team. The new hires include – amongst others – Claude Chevroulet as COO, Christian Christow as new head of business development intermediaries, Samuel Witjaksono as new market head, Indonesia and, most recently, Kimmis Pun as head of private banking.

Another important highlight is the recent nomination of Dr Thomas Meier as a member of VP Bank Group’s board of directors Meier strengthens the board’s expertise and will support the bank’s Asia strategy. He has 30 years experience in the private banking sector, primarily in Asia, and headed Bank Julius Baer in Asia for more than 10 years. Although he is not operationally active, this nomination is a significant contribution to the successful further development of VP Bank’s locations in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Knowledge partnership

As part of its 10th anniversary in 2018, VP Bank has entered into a knowledge partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU). The SMU Business Family Institute (BFI) specialises in business family-specific issues such as succession, family governance, entrepreneurship and wealth management. VP Bank will be working with BFI in the fields of wealth transfer. In the second half of 2018, VP Bank in Singapore will present a panel discussion and a report on this joint project. This partnership is another sign of VP Bank’s strong commitment to its Asian markets.

Stable outlook

“Safely ahead”, VP Bank’s claim, reflects the company’s way of thinking.

“It means we are well equipped for the intense competition,” Mauchle says. As a lean financial services provider with short decision-making paths, VP Bank in Asia will be one of the winners from the consolidation that is currently underway in the industry. The bank’s proven business model, which focuses on wealthy private clients and professional financial intermediaries, combined with its manageable size, means that VP Bank Group is well prepared for the ongoing changes in the Asian markets.

About the author

Christoph Mauchle has been a member of the Group Executive Management of VP Bank Group and Head of Client Business of VP Bank Group since 2013. Prior to moving to VP Bank, Christoph Mauchle held various positions at financial institutions in Switzerland and in the USA. Most recently, he was Head Private Banking at Credit Suisse, with responsibility for the German, Austrian and Luxembourg markets. Christoph Mauchle graduated with a master’s degree in Economics from the College of Advanced Economics and Administration (HWV) in St. Gallen/Switzerland.

Facts & Figures of VP Bank Group
VP Bank Ltd was founded in 1956 and, with its 861 employees (800 in full-time equivalents) as at end-2017, ranks amongst the largest banks in Liechtenstein. Today, VP Bank is present with offices in Vaduz, Luxembourg, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow and Road Town (British Virgin Islands). VP Bank Group offers tailor-made asset management and investment advisory services to private clients and financial intermediaries.

Thanks to the Bank’s genuine open architecture, clients benefit from independent counselling: included in its investment recommendations are not just the Bank’s own asset management solutions but also the products and services of other leading financial institutions. VP Bank is listed on SIX Swiss Exchange and is rated “A–” by Standard & Poor’s. The Bank has a solid balance sheet and capital adequacy. Its anchor shareholders take a long-term view and stand squarely behind continuity, independence and sustainability.

Facts & Figures of VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd
VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd is a boutique private bank with a client-centric business philosophy. Established in 2008, VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd is the Singapore subsidiary of the Liechtenstein-based VP Bank Group with around 50 employees.

VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd provides specialised wealth management solutions for high-net-worth clients and professional asset managers.

VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd is dedicated to the protection and growth of clients’ wealth. The bank offers a holistic suite of services in wealth management. Apart from private wealth management, VP Bank (Singapore) Ltd also provides services for asset managers and other financial intermediaries. The service offering comprises a trading platform, banking services including e-banking, mobile banking and operational support. Partnership arrangements with professionals include tailor-made investment advisory, discretionary management solutions and custodian services.

This is a sponsored article from VP Bank.

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