New enhancements to the Indosuez wealth management product platform
In the 18 months since Arjan de Boer took up his current role at Indosuez Wealth Management Asia he and his team have been at the forefront of implementing some exciting and positive changes, all ultimately designed to improve efficiency and the range and quality of services for the benefit of their clients. Soon after he joined the firm, de Boer was involved in the challenging yet transformational merger and integration of the Asian businesses of Credit Industriel et Commercial (CIC). And the firm has also been adding to its business leadership, expanding its discretionary portfolio management (DPM) and private equity teams, as well as adding more investment advisers and a night desk to further enhance client service. Indosuez Wealth Management prides itself on being a boutique firm offering a personal connection to clients, yet also providing the widest range of products and services within a large, stable global banking organisation, meaning that clients enjoy the best of both worlds. Amidst increasing financial market volatility, de Boer believes that Asian high net worth investors should move more of their portfolios towards DPM to benefit from what he and his firm consider to be generally positive ongoing conditions for global corporate profits.
Arjan de Boer, Head of Markets, Investments and Structuring, Asia for Indosuez Wealth Management, spoke with Michael Stanhope, CEO of Hubbis, about the exciting developments taking place at Indosuez Wealth Management and how the changes will improve their offerings for clients.
“I was so lucky to join the company when I did 18 months ago,” de Boer began. “Two weeks into the job we began the adventure of what was eventually the merger with and integration of Credit Industriel et Commercial in Singapore and Hong Kong. That was a huge change, for example my product team has since grown significantly to 54 people.”
In addition to this merger, the structures of individual departments have also undergone expansion and improvement. “There have been some big changes in leadership within our team,” he explained, “and we have grown the DPM and private equity teams, as well as introducing a night desk, which is a new development for us here. We are also working on a big new project for which we are actively recruiting 11 new investment advisers in Singapore and Hong Kong.”
Boutique, and also competitive
De Boer then outlined the values and core competencies of Indosuez Wealth Management. “We are what we like to call a ‘human sized’ private bank,” he explained, “where clients do not feel like they are dealing with a large, factory-style organisation, but a firm that is more personal and in tune with their needs. Our clients experience a boutique bank approach, yet one that operates within a very large and stable banking organisation. The products we can offer are competitive with the big players, for example offering a dedicated and rather unique tailor-made private equity offering as well as the many other products we can offer. This gives clients the flexibility and personal attention you would expect from a boutique firm and at the same time the capabilities clients would expect from the biggest competitors.”
When quizzed about new products and services that are relevant to today’s clients, de Boer reiterated a point he often makes nowadays. “At the risk of repeating myself on this subject, I do feel that Asian wealth market investors should further explore DPM mandates for all or part of their portfolios,” he stated. “We have seen two instances of significantly increased volatility in the markets this year, where the Vix, the CBOE Volatility Index, significantly spiked up. There is a lot of uncertainty out there at the moment, and everybody is talking about the potential for trade wars,” he elucidated, “meaning investors have cause to feel more anxious.”
An expert hand providing reassurance
He then said that it is in precisely this type of environment that having a professional looking after their portfolio on a day-to-day basis is reassuring for clients. “The experts can really keep their eye on the ball for the investors,” de Boer added.
Nevertheless, despite the increased volatility and uncertainty, Indosuez Wealth Management remains generally positive about corporate profits globally. “Corporate earnings are still very strong, even in Europe,” he reported.
“The expectation for the US is still 15.5% growth this year, Europe is a little tougher at an anticipated 10% rise, and emerging markets are predicted to grow robustly at 16% this year.”
De Boer therefore considers that there is still reason for investors to be optimistic. “At this stage, in order to see through the conflicting noise surrounding the markets, and to see through to the benefits of the continued growth cycle, we are more than ever convinced that clients should move more towards discretionary mandates,” de Boer concluded.
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