ON the strength of consumer-product marketing techniques, Standard Chartered Equitor Group's assets under administration and revenues from custodian and private banking operations have jumped 40 per cent in each of the past two years. Group marketing and sales director Andrew Fisher said the marketing approach focused on determining what clients wanted through extensive market research and then ''re-engineering'' services and products to meet their needs. It had proven successful, he said, because strategic marketing in the financial services sector traditionally had been misunderstood to mean sales or sales support rather than meeting customer needs. ''Financial institutions have had enormous spreads and didn't have to worry about what customers wanted,'' said Mr Fisher, a former senior marketing manager with multi-national consumer products giant Unilever. ''Now the banks have to start applying strategic marketing.'' This year, Equitor, the financial services arm of Standard Chartered Bank, has set a growth target for assets under administration of 35 per cent to 40 per cent - to about US$52 billion. Revenue also should climb at the same rate. Commissions and transaction fees account for 75 per cent to 80 per cent of revenue, with margins between loans and deposits accounting for 20 per cent to 25 per cent. Mr Fisher said many of Equitor's rivals had yet to adopt a strategic marketing approach, providing it with a competitive edge. ''Some companies try to form much the same structure, but often politics and turf get in the way,'' he said. ''I don't think anyone has embodied strategic marketing, and in many instances marketing has no teeth.'' Equitor's private banking service caters for wealthy clients who have more than US$1 million to invest. Most clients are based in Northeast and Southeast Asia. Mr Fisher said Equitor wanted to create close relationships with clients so a banker would deal with only 20 to 25 individual investors. Since Equitor did not manage in-house funds, it relied on third parties to provide those services. He said Equitor reviewed every fund manager in major markets, and selected them on track record and flexibility to provide the right investment vehicles. Equitor's custodial services group operates in 15 countries and provides back-office administrative services such as the buying and selling of shares, dividend collection and stock lending for global custodians. Equitor plans to expand its stock lending business in Asia beyond Hongkong and Japan this year.