Seamless Banking for a Family’s Needs
Citi Private Bank presents the smartest wealth management services to next generation recipients of family wealth through its integrated model
The functions and responsibilities of a private bank in Asia are increasingly complex. It is expected to help its rich clients make high returns on their capital yet ensure that their wealth is preserved. Managing risk effectively is therefore critical, not least because many families in the region are now focusing on transferring wealth to succeeding generations.
Citi Private Bank recognises this important duty, which it is able to fulfil because of its extensive professional expertise, service and product access and its vast balance sheet.
“Managing family wealth during the handover from one generation to the next has always been a cornerstone of our business. I’ve seen that in the past three to four years, decision–making is being passed to the second and third generations,” says Steven Lo, Citi Private Bank managing director, global market manager, Hong Kong.
Intergenerational change is a familiar theme around the world but is perhaps no more acute than in Asia, where family-based business cultures are having to meet the challenge from the advancing age of a pioneering tranche of business leaders, and the rise to maturity of their sons and daughters.
“The newer generation still wants to make money but their risk appetite and the way they approach investing is different. The older generation will generally take any trading opportunity for immediate gain irrespective of how it fits within an overall portfolio,” says Lo.
Lo suggests that education can help navigate through these major turning points in the management of family finances. Indeed, Citi was the first private bank to launch “Next Generation” programmes to guide the new recipients of family wealth, teaching them about modern asset management techniques.
The concept has since been adopted by other banks, but Citi Private Bank remains focused on offering the smartest and most comprehensive wealth management services to its clients.
It will launch a round of new initiatives later this year, including bringing together high net worth individuals (HNWIS) from around the world to discuss modern wealth management and business trends. The meeting will take place at an elite educational facility and incorporate the latest research.
“Nowadays people are a lot more sophisticated and they are running businesses more analytically. This is where the big organisations are moving and the Asian scene is changing,” says Lo. Similarly, personal wealth management has become a more rigorous process.
Citi Private Bank’s mission is to be the trusted adviser for targeted HNWIS in Asia and throughout the world, and hence to be their clients’ first call. They have a minimum of US$10 million of investible assets and most have at least US$25 million.
“However, it is essential that portfolios should be selected and managed from a broad perspective, rather than compiled and assessed in a fragmentary fashion. The focus should not be on each product in isolation, but on the allocation mix, and this philosophy is promoted by us and supported by our clients,” says Roger Bacon, managing director, head of managed investments, Asia Pacific at Citi Private Bank.
Bacon’s experience makes him ideally suited for his role at Citi Private Bank, where he has worked for the past five years. His career covers spells at a family office, as a portfolio manager at a Swiss private bank and a portfolio manager as well as a product specialist for offshore investments at a British merchant bank and US bank.
Hong Kong is an ideal North Asia hub for Citi’s private banking activities, he notes. It has first class logistics, a legacy of financial market expertise, a superior pool of talent and regulators that are flexible and keen to engage with market participants.
In this supportive environment, Citi is able to provide its clients’ personal wealth and their businesses with a service that integrates the full resources of its commercial and investment banking operations as well as its wealth management expertise.
If education is the heart of Citi Private Bank’s offering, the corporation’s total suite of banking services is its brain. “We offer our clients seamless