On Top of Their Game
ABN AMRO offers dedicated client service to high net worth individuals that reflects almost two centuries of Asian experience
There’s a certain comfort that comes with knowing your financial future is being nurtured by someone trained at one of the world’s great business schools and who is employed by a bank with 190 years’ experience in dealing with Asian clients.
ABN AMRO Private Banking in Hong Kong brings that depth to its dealings with clients. It is a rare distinction that proves one size certainly does not fit all in the world of private banking.
“Clearly there are similarities with other wealth managers but a lot of the difference at ABN AMRO comes down to the quality and delivery of the overall offering and how it’s presented by the different members of an experienced and dedicated client service team, with each bringing a level of knowledge and experience that matches client needs,” says Ian Pollock, the managing director and regional head of ABN AMRO Private Banking in North Asia.
The bank has a full-service private banking offering, delivered by the 130 experienced relationship managers in its Asia and Middle East operations. Pollock says the bank is ideally suited to handle clients with assets between US$5-25 million and, thanks to its breadth of service, is able to deliver tailored approaches to clients from all walks of life.
“The key part of executing on any strategy related to private wealth management is keeping abreast of the financial trends and developments so that the advice we give to clients is appropriate, irrespective of market conditions, and tailored for their needs.”
The delivery of the products and services that meet those needs is the responsibility of Angel Wu, the regional head of products and solutions for ABN AMRO Private Banking in Asia and the Middle East.
The bank’s offering spans three main areas: investments and portfolio management, credit facilities and wealth planning and
structuring. Rare among Asia’s financial services sector, the bank offers its investment solutions from a fully open architecture platform that aims to deliver the best-in-class for clients, says Wu.
“We give clients wide choices available in the market place, and clients are not constrained by the range of products we manufacture or manage,” says Wu.
The bank’s global scale and European heritage also affords clients access to some unique products and rare service standards. Pollock says the bank has adopted a client service team approach, which sees bankers work alongside investment specialists, product specialists and investment advisers.
In assembling high-quality staff and savvy product specialists, the bank says it has an edge over the competition. It invests heavily in an industry certification programme delivered on the Insead campuses in Singapore and Europe. More than 500 of the bank’s relationship managers around the world have graduated from the programme, says Pollock.
“It’s one of the ways we ensure that the people we have can service our clients well,” says Pollock. “It’s something
we’ve been doing for a number of years.” The net result is a competent and knowledgeable team of professionals.
Wu says the bank’s scale is important, opening access to discretionary portfolio management services, for example, which—for the right client— can deliver value in the professional management of their assets. In the first half of this year, the bank’s discretionary team has outperformed both its benchmarks and peers.
The portfolio managers are not only based in Europe but also in Asia, as you might expect for a bank with deep ties to the region. The bank opened its first offices in Indonesia in 1826, and the bank has enjoyed a long standing presence in Hong Kong since 1906.
With the bank’s Dutch roots and top ranked presence in France and Germany, where its subsidiaries are ranked amongst the top three private banks in each market, Pollock says the organisation is well placed to take advantage for its clients.
“We’ve suggested looking towards Europe, where there is a recovery slowly coming through,” he says.
“For the next couple of years at least, the returns from Europe will probably outperform. But it has to be done in a selective way, and that’s where we can offer our expertise.”
With the bank’s European heritage comes a nuanced approach to succession planning, and impact investing. Wu says more clients are recognising the importance of wealth and succession planning than ever before, as conversations within family-run businesses shift from wealth creation toward protection and preservation across generations.
“For ABN AMRO, we have centuries of heritage in Europe and this mode of investing is not new. We can leverage significantly from the European heart of the bank,” she says.
Similarly, forward-thinking investors with a view towards more sustainable investing can relate to the bank’s built-in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment process. “For us, ESG is nothing new. It’s a part of what we do,” says Wu.
Whatever it is that clients want, ABN AMRO has the depth of experience to meet all expectations. “What’s consistent about all investors is they are all consistently unique in their needs, since they are all individuals,” says Pollock. “We see it as a long-term journey and we want to make sure that we’re equipped to serve all of them well.”
tailored advice Each member of the experienced team brings a level of knowledge and experience that matches client needs
strategy planning Ian Pollock, managing director and regional head
of ABN AMRO Private Banking in
portfolio Management Angel wu, regional head of products and solutions for ABN AMRO Private Banking in Asia and the Middle East