News > Wealth Management

Barclays could exit its Asia WM business
<p>UK-based banking giant Barclays could be pulling out of its Asia wealth management business, after being in the game for 40 years, and is reportedly flirting with potential buyers.</p> <p>The Australian Financial Review reports that the bank – which is looking to focus more on its U.S. and U.K. businesses – has spoken to several interested parties but has not reached a final decision.</p> <p>The bank has been offering wealth management services in one form or another since the 1970s, with bases in New Delhi, Hong Kong, and Singapore, according to its website.  But its global wealth management business has been feeling the pain recently, with revenues dropping 17% in the third quarter, to 227 million pounds ($342 million), from the previous year.</p> <p>The sale is part of a broader effort to restore growth to the U.K. lender that has been battered by restructuring costs and expensive scandals.  The unit – which represented 4% of the bank's overall revenue in the third quarter – has posted declines for the past four quarters. The bank has not offered a breakdown of revenues for its Asia wealth management business.</p> <p>Either way, Barclay's withdrawal is perhaps good news for the likes of Credit Suisse eager to gobble up a larger chunk of Asia's wealth management market.<br /> Photo: Jeff Montgomery<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Malaysian banks contract fintech fever
<p>Maybank has followed CIMB as the latest Malaysian lender to catch the fintech bug. It has recently announced that it would act as advisory partner to accelerator programs run by Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).</p> <p>The aim is to help boost Malaysian fintechs that "are also seeking to expand in Asean countries and for Asean startups looking to tap the growing high net worth market in Malaysia," reports Asian Private Banker. (paywall)</p> <p>CIMB took up the wealth management products of four startups in September. The firms were winners of a pilot InnoChallenge Initiative between CIMB and Multimedia Development Corp.<br /> Photo: Christian Junker | Photography<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Internal bias at private banks
<p>Large wealth management firms offer their clients a comprehensive range of products and services. As well as vanilla bonds and equities, their wares include complex high yield structures, corporate advice, succession planning, passion investments such as fine art and classic cars, philanthropy guidance and access to trophy real estate assets.</p> <p>Many boast a so-called open architecture platform. That means that they also tap into their competitors'  offerings to ensure that their clients get the best and cheapest deal. The wealth management arms of Citi, UBS, CS and Deutsche, for instance, all claim to adopt this liberal practice as a matter of course.</p> <p>Yet when pressed, private bankers admit to a natural tendency towards using in-house resources for their discretionary portfolio management (DPM).</p> <p>"There is a small positive bias towards selecting internal funds because the underlying managers have better access to them," said Jean-Louis Nakamura, Lombard Odier's Asia Pacific chief investment officer at the AsianInvestor Fund Selector Forum in Hong Kong last week. (paywall)</p> <p>Patrick Grossholz, Asia Pacific head of investment management at UBS Wealth Management reckoned it "did not make any difference for any DPM whether clients choose in-house asset management or bespoke wealth management solutions."</p> <p>The key is to make sure that the client feels he is getting the best deal, he argued.<br /> Photo: Toni Blay<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video: 'Robo advisor' is for technophobes
April Rudin, founder of The Rudin Group, explains why she thinks we should lose the term "robo advisor:"  Technology should be an advisor's best friend.