Hong Kong Tatler - - | Tatler Focus Citigold Private Client -

inan­cial port­fo­lios are not al­ways what they seem. For many in­vestors, the tra­di­tional ap­proach to di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion has meant spread­ing their in­vest­ments across a range of as­set classes, but this strat­egy can still re­sult in a port­fo­lio that is too fo­cused on par­tic­u­lar in­dus­tries, re­gions or sec­tors.

For ex­am­ple, a re­cent mul­ti­mil­lion­aire sur­vey con­ducted by Citibank found that high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als in Hong Kong with in­vestable as­sets of more than HK$10 mil­lion had, on av­er­age, 3.7 dif­fer­ent in­vest­ment prod­ucts (such as stocks, mu­tual funds and bonds), which they mis­tak­enly be­lieved pro­vided suf­fi­cient di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion to pro­tect their port­fo­lio from con­cen­tra­tion risk.

This is where Cit­igold Pri­vate Client can add value. Part of Citibank’s suite of wealth man­age­ment of­fer­ings, it caters for peo­ple with liq­uid as­sets of be­tween US$1M and US$10M, fit­ting in be­tween Cit­igold, for those with US$200,000 to US$1M to in­vest, and Citi Pri­vate Bank, aimed at those with more than US$10M.

“Cit­igold Pri­vate Client pro­vides a full range of wealth man­age­ment ex­per­tise to help clients bal­ance their port­fo­lios,” says Lawrence Lam, head of re­tail bank­ing at Citibank.

Two ser­vices in­tro­duced last year, Port­fo­lio 360 and the Eq­uity Rec­om­men­da­tion Ser­vice, aim to pro­vide clients with the sort of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion they need to face the fu­ture con­fi­dently dur­ing an era of mar­ket volatil­ity.

As an ex­am­ple: A di­rec­tor of a real es­tate de­vel­op­ment com­pany is a Cit­igold Pri­vate Client cus­tomer and an ex­pe­ri­enced in­vestor who has al­ways un­der­stood the need to di­ver­sify his port­fo­lio, and had been do­ing so by in­vest­ing in funds man­aged by a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tions. When a port­fo­lio coun­sel­lor from Cit­igold Pri­vate Client’s Port­fo­lio 360 ser­vice took a look at his in­vest­ments, how­ever, a po­ten­tial weak­ness was un­cov­ered: al­though he used a va­ri­ety of funds, they mostly in­vested heav­ily in Asia. This was a con­cern be­cause Asian stock mar­kets tend to ex­pe­ri­ence fall­ing val­u­a­tions at the same time as lo­cal hous­ing mar­kets, so he was ex­posed in the event of a down­turn in the real es­tate sec­tor. Cit­igold Pri­vate Client’s con­sul­tant was then able to help him re­shape his port­fo­lio to mit­i­gate this el­e­ment of risk.

As the name sug­gests, Port­fo­lio 360 con­sul­tants take a holis­tic look at a client’s fi­nances. This goes well be­yond tra­di­tional ad­vi­sory ser­vices, tak­ing into ac­count ev­ery as­pect of a client’s port­fo­lio to pro­vide a com­pre­hen­sive as­sess­ment of the po­ten­tial risks and op­por­tu­ni­ties they face, and then ad­vise them on how they could al­lo­cate their as­sets more ef­fec­tively to achieve their per­sonal fi­nan­cial goals. The ser­vice draws on the ex­per­tise of its port­fo­lio coun­sel­lors, all of whom are in­vest­ment pro­fes­sion­als with more than 10 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, many of them as fund man­agers, and who are ide­ally placed to ad­vise clients how best to bal­ance their in­vest­ments.

Since last year Cit­igold Pri­vate Client cus­tomers can also take ad­van­tage of an of­fer­ing pre­vi­ously only avail­able to Citi Pri­vate Bank cus­tomers: the Eq­uity Rec­om­men­da­tion Ser­vice. Citibank’s re­search team is one of the bank’s strong­est ad­van­tages over its com­peti­tors, and the full force of that team’s in­sight is brought to bear through the Eq­uity Rec­om­men­da­tion Ser­vice, which tracks thou­sands of in­di­vid­ual stocks and pro­vides clients with tar­geted rec­om­men­da­tions. Again, the bank’s se­nior in­vest­ment spe­cial­ists will as­sess a client’s full port­fo­lio and then pro­vide them with ad­vice on both their gen­eral in­vest­ment ap­proach and the spe­cific stocks and sec­tors with the po­ten­tial, based on in­sights into sev­eral thou­sand stocks traded in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the US.

Al­though im­par­tial ad­vice from an ex­pe­ri­enced source is al­ways the most valu­able as­pect of any wealth man­age­ment of­fer­ing, the tools with which those in­sights are com­mu­ni­cated to clients and the range of in­for­ma­tion avail­able are chang­ing rapidly. This is some­thing Citibank has al­ways em­braced; the bank be­lieves that new tech­nol­ogy can com­ple­ment and en­hance the value of the ser­vices it has tra­di­tion­ally of­fered.

It is cer­tainly true that clients to­day have ac­cess to a huge range of in­for­ma­tion thanks to the in­ter­net, but high-net-worth in­vestors have al­ways had ac­cess to good in­for­ma­tion. The real dif­fer­ence is in ex­pec­ta­tions: clients to­day ex­pect to be able to keep in touch with the progress of their in­vest­ments in real time.

“That’s why Citibank puts the cus­tomer at the cen­tre of all the tech­nolo­gies we de­velop, pro­vid­ing our ex­per­tise through a va­ri­ety of chan­nels and mak­ing it as easy to ac­cess as pos­si­ble,” says Lam.

The bank even has its own broad­cast cen­tre. The aim is to pro­vide clients with rel­e­vant and timely mar­ket in­for­ma­tion that re­lates to their port­fo­lios—and how the bank is work­ing to make them stronger.

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