Through its focus on trust and long-term relationships, ABN AMRO Private Banking has won a loyal clientele in Asia, which remains a top priority region
Private banking is a core activity for ABN AMRO and it is a business dedicated and focused on individual clients’ needs, including the challenges faced by future generations.
“We take a long-term view of our private banking business and will strengthen it at a steady pace through organic and inorganic growth, ensuring that we continue to provide meaningful and relevant advice for all our clients,” says Hans Hanegraaf, country executive for Singapore and CEO of Private Banking for Asia and Middle East.
ABN AMRO Private Banking is a leading provider of private banking services across both the Asian and Middle East regions, with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. In fact, its global presence is substantial. It ranks within the top 16 in Asia, is the third biggest private bank in the Eurozone, and the seventh largest in wider Europe.
ABN AMRO was first established in Hong Kong with the opening of an office in 1906. For ABN AMRO, Asia clearly remains a key priority, and the Middle East also offers tremendous potential. Worldwide, the private bank now has over US$230 billion of total assets under management, and it intends to continue on a trajectory of growing its business in a sustainable fashion.
“We believe that we will be able to further enhance our client offerings by seeking out new investment ideas and opportunities, offering our clients quality services and investing in infrastructure and training for our staff,” says Hanegraaf, who was appointed to his current position in September 2014.
Truly understanding clients’ needs, satisfying them with
outstanding service, and helping them to achieve their wealth management objectives and more are the essential ingredients for a successful private bank.
“It is a highly personal business and the need to be trusted cannot be overestimated,” says Hanegraaf. “Trust means ensuring stability and maintaining a solid reputation that is built over time. Through discipline and sensitivity, ABN AMRO has managed to forge long-lasting relationships with our clients and continues to be dedicated to that task.”
It means placing a genuine value on people, understanding their needs and forming close connections that extend over time. Indeed, some of ABN AMRO’S clients have been with the bank for over 17 generations, according to Hanegraaf.
ABN AMRO has the size and capacity to offer a holistic approach to its clients,
supporting a wide offering of services and products, and yet is small and nimble enough to remain highly focused on providing clients with tailored, personal advice.
It is an intimate and downto-earth relationship. The bankers must return to basics with their clients and engage in honest, meaningful discussions throughout their wealth journey to discover their real objectives and concerns for the short, medium and long term.
“Some clients know exactly what their goals are, while others have a broad idea or no idea at all. We take the time to help them define and refine their goals,” says Hanegraaf.
The bank strives to provide the highest level of service and gain a deep understanding of its clients’ needs to build a sustainable partnership throughout the various stages of their lives.
“Many of our clients have been with ABN AMRO for a very long time, and we have come to know them as friends. We play an important role in helping them manage, structure and protect their wealth in the long term and for future generations,” says Ian Pollock, managing director, regional head of Private Banking International, North Asia.
He believes it is an honour to share this journey with the bank’s clients and their families, seeing them through the highs as well as the tough times.
“It is gratifying to be able not only to help clients preserve their wealth but also be involved in
helping them prepare their own children and future generations for the impending responsibility,” says Pollock.
Indeed, as a part of good family governance planning, ABN AMRO aims to arm the next generation with a better understanding of the issues related to the transfer of wealth and the succession of family businesses. They need to be aware of the responsibilities that come with their inheritance.
The private bank already offers its clients a unique “Next Generation” programme that is a potent mix of education and peer interaction designed to share experiences and understand the challenges ahead.
It focuses on the needs of the next generation within the context of the family relationships. It also fosters the development of friendships and ties with people in similar positions from different cultures and backgrounds.
The most recent event was held in Hong Kong last September. It examined the joys and challenges of family businesses, and introduced concepts such as the “three circle model” where family, ownership and business combine.
It was led by an eminent family office expert from a top business school. Participants were also able to benefit from the lessons learned from alumni of the programme.
“They shared their real-life experiences and ensured that the programme was rooted firmly in reality and not the abstract,” says Pollock.
Ian Pollock, managing director, regional head of Private Banking International, North Asia
Hans Hanegraaf, country executive Singapore and CEO of Private Banking for Asia and Middle East