Extensive networks and integrated banking services
With extensive networks established across growth markets and key trade corridors, Standard Chartered Private Bank has extensive capabilities to provide clients with a continuum of seamless cross-border banking services ranging from business solutions to Private Banking and Wealth Management needs.
By capitalising on the synergy between its Private, Corporate & Institutional and Commercial Banking businesses and client bases, Desmond Liu, Regional Head of Private Banking, Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank says that it has set a target to grow assets under management from US$57 billion at the end of 2015 by US$25 billion by 2018. Liu notes that this commitment to Private Banking and Wealth Management is a critical part of the broader Bank's strategy to reposition itself for growth. A strong balance sheet and solid capital base provides a notable differentiator and allows the Bank to offer credit solutions to clients, which according to the 2015 Capgemini Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, plays a prominent role in the portfolios of high-net-worth (HNW) individuals.
At the same time, to further improve client experience and service efficiency, Standard Chartered Bank is investing US$250 million as part of a five-year transformation programme to create a single, global Private Banking and Wealth Management platform. “Our Private Banking clients are strong adopters of technology, and the pervasiveness of a digital experience in their daily interactions has given rise to an evolving expectation around communicating with their wealth managers,’’ notes Liu, who says clients expect information and advice at their fingertips, allowing them to manage their private and business wealth needs across different time zones and geographies. Technology also helps relationship managers (RMs) to deepen their relationships with clients by connecting the full resources of the Bank, from research insights to wealth and investment advisory capabilities. Liu points out how clients expect the full spectrum offering, from discretionary-related services to increasingly more self-service options, so providing mobile access to portfolio monitoring, market views, research-based advice and a full-suite of products and solutions is critical. However, Liu stresses that Private Banking remains a high-touch, relationship-driven proposition, and digitisation should be seen as part of an integrated multi-channel experience, which includes the Bank’s experienced advisors. “Meeting our clients’ needs and giving them the appropriate wealth advice is central to our offering,’’ emphasises Liu.
With a deep knowledge of the markets where Standard Chartered Bank has a presence, Liu says that beyond personal wealth, the Bank is also able to support Private Banking clients in their corporate ambitions through its Corporate & Institutional and Commercial Banking businesses. “We want to be the multi-generational private bank for entrepreneurs,’’ says Liu, adding that the Bank understands these business owners’ strategic agenda to grow their company and has the capability to provide a wide variety of personal funding and investment banking needs to ensure the longevity of their family institutions. “Given today’s challenging macroeconomic conditions, many of these active entrepreneurs value the support of a trusted advisor in diversifying their personal investments due to their inherent exposure to currency risks and market volatilities by virtue of their business ownership or through its supply chains,” explains Liu.
Another aspect of Standard Chartered Bank’s universal banking model is the “pivot to affluent” approach, which supports Retail Banking clients along their emerging affluent journey into Private Banking. A good example, Liu says, is a laser focus on the Greater China region where the Bank is able to leverage on its brand and strength in Hong Kong and branch presence in China to expand client service capabilities.
With a growing portion of wealth in Asia being passed on to the younger generation, Liu says a key aspect of succession planning is to engage early and comprehensibly, as the transition between generations is not limited to just one single moment in time – it involves a prolonged phase of readiness and preparedness involving the broader family. According to the Journal of Corporate Finance, Family Firm Succession: the Role of Family Assets and Roadblocks, Asian family businesses lose close to 60 per cent of their value at the point of transition. “By introducing such conversations about the future early on, we look to bring increased connectivity across all generations in the family and provide advice and knowledge to help them navigate one of the most important events of our clients’ lives,’’ notes Liu. “From a wealth planning perspective, RMs can also support our clients in managing the process of selecting the trust solutions best suited to meet their fiduciary and investment goals, working closely with the fiduciary specialist and trust company,’’ explains Liu
Because many entrepreneurs are heavily involved in the daily running of their businesses and have little time to manage their own personal wealth, Standard Chartered Private Bank has set up a series of initiatives to support their wealth management and the transfer process. These include seminars and workshops designed to assist clients in preparing the next generation for financial management roles and future leadership positions in the family businesses. Last year, the Bank launched its first annual Future Global Leaders’ Programme with the University of Cambridge, aimed at 25 to 35 year old sons and daughters of ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients. “This helps the next generation of our UHNW entrepreneurial clients in acquiring the frameworks and perspectives necessary to lead both their careers and the family businesses in a transformative manner,’’ says Liu.