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The Final Word: Technology

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This piece is the fifth instalment of The Final Word series, where top private banking and wealth management heads share their views on industry trends in 2017 and the year to come. Today, the theme is technology.

What are your priorities for 2018 in terms of digitising your offering and upgrading technology?

Pierre Vrielinck, CEO, Wealth Management APAC, BNP Paribas

“Our global client experience (CX) program, where the APAC launch took place in Singapore [in 2017], is a testament to our digital transformation commitment and enhanced service delivery to our clients.

Ten applications have been developed globally of which five were conceived in Asia. These new digital solutions will enable our relationship managers to deliver products and services by offering a seamless user experience across multiple channels.

We shall continue to further invest into digital development and strengthen our overall capabilities to cater to increasingly demanding client needs.”

Ron Lee, head of private wealth management, APAC, Goldman Sachs

“We will continue to invest in technology to enhance the client experience. [In 2017], we introduced a revamped client web which allows clients to view and analyze their portfolios more easily. We have also streamlined processes to reduce account opening time.”



Wu Chunjiang, assistant general manager, private banking department, China Merchants Bank

CMB Private Banking prioritises the research, development and upgrade of the IT system to consolidate advanced working process and risk management, and uses advanced methods to realize scientific wealth allocation.

Firstly, to match “1+N” service mode, CMB Private Banking has launched GAAS (Global Asset Allocation System) for HNW clients in China to promote quantitative wealth management instead of traditional empirical approaches. Secondly, CMB Private Banking is the first in China offering a global hotline service to provide an instant wealth management service for its top-tier clients. Clients can call their private banker from any location to complete transaction demands.

CMB has launched electronic contracts to replace traditional paper contracts so as to enhance efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. Clients can sign e-contracts online to invest in financial instruments via internet banking or other mobile terminals. E-contracts provide clients with a better experience and accelerate product sales.”

Didier von Daeniken, global head, private banking and Wealth Management, Standard Chartered

We are investing in our core banking platform and upgrading technology to improve the quality and breadth of our client service, to be able to capture the significant opportunities in our footprint. In an age of information overload, clients want convenient access to relevant market insights. We launched market views on-the-go [in 2017], a capability that makes our market insights available via mobile and online banking channels in more than 12 markets.

We are digitising our platforms at speed across advisory, price discovery and order management. We now have an enhanced derivatives pricing platform which allows RMs to provide clients almost real-time pricing for equity derivatives, allowing clients to execute trades faster.

We want to make it easier for our clients to work with us and we are focused on automation and a reduction of the paperwork they need to do. For instance, we have automated our derivatives confirmation process, which saves significant time and effort for our clients.

Our ongoing wealth transformation programme continues to deliver a series of enhancements productivity improvements through process automation over the next few years. [in 2017], we launched an enhanced performance reporting and portfolio view tool, which will make it much faster for RMs to update their clients on their portfolios.

In 2018, we plan to continue to invest in technology to meet the evolving needs of our clients.”

Pierre Masclet, Asia CEO and Singapore Branch Manager, Indosuez Wealth Management

Indosuez Wealth Management is proud to continue to use and support our own IT software suite, S2i, that is owned and operated by the Credit Agricole Group.

S2i operates on a fully shared platform. Any upgrades or enhancements requested by one of our clients benefit the entire community of clients – this is one of the key principles that underlines its business model.

S2i covers both front office and back office needs and is utilised by support functions; finance division and risk management and compliance. It also complies with various local regulations and taxation requirements in ten countries across the world.”

Amy Lo, chairman and head of Greater China, UBS Wealth Management and country head, UBS Hong Kong Branch

“Digitalisation is central to our client offering, and we have several enhancements planned for 2018 which we will announce in due course. Our clients have told us that they want more customised views and ideas delivered digitally, and we are listening to what they say to provide digital solutions that are best-in-class and tailored to their needs.”



Claude Haberer, Asia CEO, Pictet Wealth Management

When you are a pure-play private bank, you have to be the best in your area. So we have been investing large amounts in technology over the years. We have continually upgraded our existing communication service with clients called “Pictet Connect” and we received multiple awards for having the best internet-based service for clients.

We are now upgrading this significantly, and you will hear more in 2018 about the rollout of a wealth management application for clients that provides a greater amount of information, portfolio analysis, research, investment simulations and risk analysis. We are going full steam ahead to stay in front of the competition, just as we have been in the past.”

Tan Su Shan, group head of consumer banking and wealth management, DBS Bank

For us – it’s always been about being customer-focused, journey-focused, data-driven and agile.

So, in terms of customer journeys – UX and UI designs are keys to digital success. We look at their journey from beginning to end, and apply human-centred design to develop relevant solutions. Even for our employees, we focus on how digital tools can help them do their jobs better and faster. For example, we have rolled out RM mobility tools which are iPads with intuitive applications that pull all relevant customer information and portfolio recommendations for bankers to use in each client meeting that is synced their diaries. This not only saves them time but also makes their recommendations timely and relevant.

Because wealth managers are in the unique space to provide advice to their customers, they are also in the unique role where they can define how technology can evolve to better serve private clients. This means greater collaborations with fintechs to identify and tap into new technologies to scale solutions that deliver better results for customers.

For example, with the recent launch of our open API platform which is one of the largest in the world today, it will boost DBS’ lead in creating innovative and customer-centric experiences by making available a wide array of APIs for other retailers, service providers and software developers to plug into. It enables us to connect with ecosystem partners to embed ourselves into their journeys, and in that way, deeper embed ourselves in the lives of our customers.”

What is your view on increasing the degree data sharing among institutions, particularly when it comes to KYC-related information? Are you prepared to commit to a shared KYC facility?

Michael Blake, CEO private banking Asia, Union Bancaire Privée

This continues to be an interesting idea that would provide clients with a more efficient, less painful way to engage their banks.  And it would likely become a competitive advantage for the first jurisdiction that adopts such a model.”




Ong Yeng Fang, managing director and head of private bank, UOB

With increasing regulatory and compliance costs relating to KYC requirements, having a shared KYC facility may be beneficial.

However, the success of a shared KYC facility will depend on achieving the delicate balance of protecting client confidentiality while sharing information. In order to balance this, we could perhaps start small. Instead of sharing the full suite of KYC information, banks may start with KYC information that could potentially pose an AML or financing of terrorism risk to the industry.”

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The Final Word: Technology

Asian Private Banker - Private banks shy away from fully-digitalised onboarding
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(This article first appeared in Issue 106 of Asian Private Banker’s monthly print magazine, published in the first week of December 2016. This piece is part of The Final Word series, where top private banking and wealth management heads share their views on trends related to technology in 2016 and the year to come.) How important is it that tech…

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