Singapore-based independent asset management (IAM) firm HP Wealth Management strives to service HNW and UHNW individuals and families, for whom managing partner and founder Urs Brutsch believes the firm can combine the best of both worlds.
This means clients custodise their assets with a bank (or banks) with which they are comfortable, and then HP Wealth Management provides completely independent advice.
The firm has no financial incentive to sell a particular product or recommend a specific transaction. And once clients understand that the firm is really working for them in their best interests, then they are willing to pay for the service.
This also involves a structured approach to giving investment and other types of advice. And Brutsch explains that his firm imposes a lot of discipline in terms of its discretionary and advisory portfolios. For instance, it has an investment committee chaired by its CIO and also meets to determine the tactical asset allocation. To ensure the right risk controls, the firm also involves two independent people, with compliance and risk management checking on the execution of the mandates within the risk profiles.
The firm also has internal and external audits to add to the checks and balances.
Looking forward, he wants to hire senior bankers to bolster the firm’s proposition and build on the foundations.
But to address the perceived risks many bankers will have about a move to an independent firm, he hopes to see more individuals embracing the entrepreneurial mind-set needed to overlook a short-term reduction in salary or lack of guaranteed bonus.
Scaling the business is also a challenge due to the expensive nature of a high-quality IAM business model with the required compliance, risk management and portfolio management tools in place.