Independent Wealth Management Forum 2018 - Video Highlights
At the Hubbis Independent Wealth Management Forum 2018 in Singapore on March 8th, we interviewed leading industry experts. Want to know what you missed?
Rainer Michael Preiss
Taurus Wealth Advisors
On the investment side, we increasingly try to look, have a very holistic view on client portfolios. Also, increasingly look at incorporating new and other uncorrelated asset classes. Because, I think, the biggest risk in 2018 is the belief that potentially bonds and stocks could come under pressure at the same time.
What are the offsetting asset classes and portfolio strategies can you include in client portfolios? I think, risk management increasingly is becoming very important closer to the end of the bull market. Then, in reverse we got to that, we also are trying to help clients with consolidation of different accounts to have a holistic overview on the total portfolio.
AL Wealth Partners
With the MAS trying to impose on a creditor-investor reclassification, I think being the EAM we are only allowed to deal with a creditor-investor. We have to be conscientious, be careful how we should be conducting our business and have certain clients. I think also as a statement of the business, we need to reiterate our message to MAS. How and what kind of classification would be appropriate especially addressing to the trust kind.
Which I think the MAS is still too overbearingly protecting towards the unknown beneficiary. Which are both to the provider, the EAMs, the bankers and even perhaps to the trustee. I think that needs to be revamped and at least reveal. We hope to be able to achieve a meeting with MAS to further discuss this issue for the EAM statement.
Schroders Wealth Management
Michael, I think there’s a huge opportunity for operations like ourselves. We’re a bit of a hybrid, in that we’re small operation currently, growing quite quickly, but we’re also part of a much bigger group.
We are able to tap into that global resource and expertise of the Schroders Group, which considerable helps us. We keep the operation lean here, as a focus. As a consequence of that our focus is very much share client facing.
It means my RM’s and my client facing team can spend a whole lot more time actually working hand in hand with the clients, spending time with them, rather than filling in compliance forms and other admin and stuff.
The benefit that we have is that we’re small but we’re part of a bigger group. We can piggyback on that. The opportunity’s enormous and we’re taking full advantage of it.
As we see wealth management extending into the EAMs, traditional private bankers, senior bankers setting up their own firms, in order to be able to execute that, they need a lot of platform and technology help. That’s where really where we sit in the B2B space. We can offer a global multi-asset class markets, platforms to EAMs for them to be able to execute on behalf of their clients. The value proposition is that we give access to global markets. We do it very quickly. They’ve got direct access to the platform. From a cost perspective, we are significantly more competitive than the traditional incumbents, custodian banks.
Edelweiss Global Wealth Management
The potential is immense, as the wealth increases in India, the complexity of the needs also increase of the clients. Clients will increasingly see more global solutions. As I was mentioning in the conference, all our clients are global in nature. They have global businesses. They have global needs. These needs will only grow in the future.
Singapore from a regularity perspective, from what you call a booking center perspective or access to market is a fabulous place. All the infrastructure is there. Solutions are there. The advise is there. If you got all of that together it is a great great place for anyone to access India from. That’s the opportunity.
InvestaCrowd is a real estate investment platform. We focus on global key markets where the investment products that we bring specifically appeal to the high net worth market. We’re real estate people. One of the biggest challenges in the wealth management world is that there’s a lot of bankers as well as finance people. We have a lot of the right types of clients. We go custom make the right type of product for our B2B private bank and wealth management partner.
Swiss-Asia Financial Services
At the industry, as usual, we always say that it’s growing, more and more importance, but one thing that I have to say is we need more support from the banks as well to grow this industry and for them to be - not from the EAM invest perspective but more from the private bank perspective to be much more supportive of a transition of a private banker into the private wealth manager’s space at the EAM side. Frankly speaking, I think it’s much more of collaboration between us and the bank.
Have more interaction with the private banks in order to understand for the better and trying to work together better in order to promote the EAM industry within the bank as well because I truly believe there’s a positive for both sides. All the private bank to develop this industry and of course, for us as an industry. Today’s event was surprisingly interesting because we’ve seen an overwhelming attendance.
An overwhelming attendance of different people, different EAMs that actually weren’t here before and that have all of a sudden appear. Now, thanks to Michael that actually is going out there and bringing them all in for us. I think what I need to do as well or what the association as such, needs to do is to reach out more to these EAMs, these new EAMs that are not yet members of the association and to include them into the association. The association itself could be more inclusive as well.
Tuck Meng Yee
The growth in wealth in China means that the rise of investing out of China to the rest of the world is something that Singaporeans can actually help. The industry here is much more developed. It is a neutral jurisdiction. The rise of China really will help the rise of Singapore itself as an after effect. Very, very bullish in that respect.
Given the size of China’s population and the wealth that’s already there, yes, the substantial offshore investments should actually increase subject to government fiat. As we all know currently, the government is substantially restricting investment outflows, but over time are reflecting China’s status. Those outflows would be material over the long term. We are still bullish.
Independent wealth managers are indeed becoming more relevant. This is only immersed in the last few years. I think it’s because of a pull and a push factor. The pull factor is that the investors are now realizing that they do need to invest for the future and for the medium to long term. What has transpired over the last few years and perhaps even longer is that banks have primarily focused on short-term investment strategies. A number of reasons.
The first reason, of course, being that their revenue model is based on the number of transactions that the clients enter into. As a result of that, it gets very difficult, I think, for banks to advise on a portfolio-based as a delegation strategy. The independence, on the other hand, did revenue models very different. They are able to step back and establish a portfolio-based advisory model which works really well for clients where you want to focus on capital preservation and capital growth.
The main thing for me, seeing the Asian market develop over the last 10, 15 years and watching it to go through that phase, a lot of structured products, then the equities faced and now on corporate bonds, the one thing that’s still missing is private assets, unlisted assets. Whether it’s a startup for a later stage or a pre-IPO company are all private debts. They’re the past of the portfolio that the family offices are actually getting access to, but directly. There’s no asset consultant to help them. There’s no wealth manager to help them. I’m here with Crossinvest as part of their service to their clients around private assets.
They’re pushing that out. As we talk to different family offices or multi-family offices or the other independents, they want to get part of it as well. We’re getting a real snowball effect around this private assets business.
GFM Asset Management
Well, we were talking about whether wealth managers really create true value for their clients. We obviously had a panel of people from different sides of it, from the TIP wealth managers as well as from larger banks. We were talking about things like fee transparency which is one of those things which I kind of wonder why we’re even debating it. It should be obvious. You go into a store, you see the price of something.
In this part of the world, I think people had gotten too used to getting free advice and investing in products rather than paying for a real investment service. I do quite like coming to these events because I feel every time, I do get to meet people from a lot of different parts of the industry as well as with many different points of view. I always like it when we have a little bit of controversy and Michael, of course, is a great moderator making sure that he eggs two edges of the question on to get the audience not falling asleep.
I definitely feel that I’m building it. I’ve been trying to change it myself. I myself, I’m trying to move the industry more towards-- It’s the only transparent model, one which has been argued that the industry here is not ready yet for it, but I think it’s just the clients need to realize that this is what the way. It’s already being done in the US and this is the future of asset management. It’s not just about robots and technology, it’s about having standards that technology make possible for us to see.
You think how many years ago it was that our asset management was only a firm. We could see it. We could work it. We sow it, we grew on it. Our asset management fees, we’re hiring people to work on that firm. Somewhere along the 20th century, we got used to the idea that we would pay fund managers that we’ve never met, few sitting in a faraway office, to do things that we didn’t understand. I don’t think that was something that was going to be very sustainable.
More from Michael Stanhope, Hubbis