We are delighted to host our 5th annual event for the private wealth management community in the Philippines.
We have refreshed the format for the event – and we think it’s particularly relevant at a time of so much change and opportunity for the industry.
We have designed the forum – along with the presentations, workshops, case studies and panel discussions – to bring together key market participants to discuss and debate the current positioning, role, opportunities, challenges and outlook for wealth management in Asia.
Specific topics we will cover include;
- The Increasing awareness from HNW clients about what they need.
- Growing digital capabilities.
- Wealth managers thinking about how they can add more value and differentiate their offering.
- More firms setting up a private wealth offering - both local and international.
- Increased product diversification.
- Insurance companies expanding the range of solutions for clients.
The event is attended by CEOs, senior management, product gatekeepers and business unit heads across technology, compliance, operations, risk and advisory – from the leading international and local Private Banks, Retail Banks, Securities Firms, IFAs, Family Offices, Insurance Companies, and other Independent Wealth Management Firms.
Key Topics we will explore in Manila
The wealth management industry in the Philippines offers immense opportunity, but by broad agreement amongst the panel of industry experts assembled for the discussion in Manila, progress is slower than it should be for a country whose economy, population and private wealth are growing so fast.
A fast-expanding market
While roughly 70% of the country’s more than 100 million population, which is fast rising, do not even have a bank account, the top one million, or more, of the people are very well-to-do, and the very top tier are often fabulously wealthy. Moreover, the number of high net worth (HNW) clients continues to expand rapidly, and the mass-affluent segment is rising very quickly.
Regulation – slowly and not so coordinated
The regulatory environment in the Philippines is, by most expert observations, improving, but far less rapidly than most market players would like. But having three regulators, the BSP, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Insurance Commission is far from ideal. By most accounts, these regulators do not tend to act in any coordinated manner, and many accommodative changes often fall between the cracks, all of which is somewhat frustrating for industry participants.
Will the country manage to come together to facilitate the centralised storage of customer information that can be used across all financial services and other related providers, not just by the bank initiating the KYC, for example? The jury is out on that, and there are concerns that, if it did happen, data would be fully secure.
Not enough product
The offering suite is thin, so far, partly as a result of regulatory impediments, partly due to lack of expertise and familiarity.
Deposits still rule the roost
Interest rates are still relatively high in the country – there is a reasonably flat yield curve and one-month rates of 6% are possible - but even so there is a mission, and a need, to encourage more investors to shift from passive deposits into some form of higher yielding or capital generating investment, for a higher proportion of their portfolios. But to do so requires more education and more product.
Education must rise
Below the top tier of perhaps one million people, there is a widespread lack of understanding of financial products. For example, one guest remarked that no matter how many times his bank is out educating the market, the near-term return on that process is minimal, and will be for some time.
Platforms to success
The right platforms for the delivery of products are essential from the perspectives of both the wealth management providers and the end-clients. There is considerable development required for local providers to boost their focus and investment in such platforms.
Different approaches to expansion
Some local wealth management players are going it alone for their diversification and expansion. Others are choosing collaboration, bringing global brands and expertise into partnership with their local distribution capabilities, their local credibility and their understanding of the national culture. By teaming up with a universal bank, for example, a European private bank partner can merge the best of two cultures, history and expertise for mutual advantage.
Digitisation is a priority
The digitisation of internal processes as well as the client interface is an ongoing priority; for example, to facilitate the opening of UITF or mutual fund accounts online, and then linking those to the client bank accounts, are both priorities. But investment is tempered by market realities in the nearer term and must be seen in the light of the nearer-term opportunities.
Older to younger – the shift
The Philippines is a young population and the younger generations who are inheriting or making the wealth are digital natives who will need the institutions they work with to provide digital and sharp delivery of products and services, whereas the older generations tend still to prefer the human interface.
The onshore paradigm beckons
If the country wants to bring home more if the vast sums of money that wealthy Filipinos have offshore, everyone must make a concerted effort, from the regulators to the government and the tax office, to wealth management providers. In the onshore sector cannot in any way begin to emulate the offshore market’s diversity, then the country will struggle to attract much of its HNWI’s huge offshore assets back home.