Bruce Von Cannon of Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild explains the bank’s value proposition and offering in Asia, and reveals his overall growth ambitions.
Date: May 2010
Value proposition in Asia
According to an interview with Bruce Von Cannon, Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild’s value proposition is to put the client at the centre of the bank’s universe.
The institution tries to focus on building a long-term relationship with the client, and tries to back that up with every element of the service, he explained.
To build staff around that concept, the bank doesn’t incentivise relationship managers (RMs) with bonuses per transaction, said Von Cannon. Instead, it pays them a salary and gives enhancements based on performance – which is partly linked to the clients’ performance.
This creates a model which puts the client at the centre, he explained.
To help implement this, the bank doesn’t put pressure on its RMs to sell products, nor monitors their weekly transaction volume.
Growth in the business comes mainly from satisfying clients’ needs, said Von Cannon, with happy clients being more willing to introduce friends and relatives who are in need of a private banking service.
Positioning in the industry
When looking at the spectrum of wealth providers, Von Cannon said Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild wants to be seen in terms of brand and concept of approach as being part of a cottage industry – akin to a producer of fine wines rather than a machine which keeps pumping out results.
The bank is not trying to be the biggest in the industry, he explained, but rather to be seen as among the best.
Attracting the right staff
According to Von Cannon, Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild has been able to attract RMs and advisers with a certain level of experience and maturity, and who are looking to be well-compensated.
But they are also looking beyond that, he added, to fit into an organisation with a certain style of servicing clients.
In terms of recent hires, Peter Amandini (as chief investment officer) and Raymond Lee (as chief operating officer) bring a lot of value in terms of their experience and ability to inspire teamwork, said Von Cannon.
In terms of overall strategy, he revealed that the bank is committed to growth in the region, which translates to growth in Hong Kong.
The aim is to do this in a methodical manner in sync with the new environment where disclosure and compliance are critical, said Von Cannon.
When discussing the expected pace of growth, he said the bank won’t commit to doubling or tripling assets within a certain period of time, because that would be inconsistent with the client model the institution espouses to.
Instead, the bank aims to offer a service which attracts clients, and if it can do that with the right standards, then growth will take care of itself. Von Cannon said it is better to slow growth down than offer services and products which aren’t suitable for clients.
In terms of future opportunities, while he said China and India are two obvious markets to focus on, the rest of the region should also benefit from their growth.