Final Word 2019: Didier von Daeniken, Standard Chartered Bank

Didier von Daeniken, global head, private banking and wealth management, Standard Chartered Bank shares his views with Asian Private Banker in ‘The Final Word’, a year in review by the region’s private banking leaders as they share their thoughts and opinions on key issues around industry trends, business performance, investments, regulations, and technology.

Industry Trends | What is the single biggest challenge and the single biggest growth opportunity for your business today?

Technology is at the heart of the bank’s strategy and digitalisation is a critical enabler of our business. They continue to be both a challenge and an opportunity for the private bank.
Whilst private banking is traditionally a high-touch and highly personalised space, we all recognise the potential we can and have derived from deploying technology to digitise our processes and offering. As an organisation, Standard Chartered adopted the agile methodology of working a few years ago and, more recently, we have pivoted to the client journey approach which enables us to look at things from the client’s lens and deliver tangible outcomes quickly.

Take for instance our FX derivatives trading platform, which was conceptualised and delivered in 16 weeks. It was built on the premise of our open architecture approach, which gives clients the ability to trade faster and with greater price transparency. It cuts down the time between enquiry and price quotations from 40 minutes to 40 seconds, providing the client a list of price providers whom they can choose to trade with.

Yet, the challenge remains in keeping up with the latest technology, and not forgetting the time needed in the development process before it is accessible by clients. Additionally, in our ongoing effort to offer what is best for clients, we must be very cognisant of the associated risks and regulatory obligations in our technology push.

Business Performance | Productivity and efficiency matter more than ever in this environment. Over the past year, what key steps have you taken to improve both the productivity and efficiency of the business and, to date, what has been the impact?

We started our transformation three years ago, focused on investing in our people, platforms, and processes.

In particular, I want to highlight our ‘people’ agenda. Private banking is ultimately a business driven by our ability to meet client needs and having a culture of excellence that puts the client at the centre helps to differentiate us. We are meticulous in the selection of people we hire and pride ourselves on our outstanding commitment to talent development.

For the third consecutive year, our clients have told us that the quality of our bankers continues to be an area of strength, strongly reaffirming our talent development programme.

Our private bankers undergo industry-leading programmes via our Private Banking Academy, which was launched in 2017 in partnership with Fitch Learning and INSEAD. Our partnership with Fitch Learning delivers a customised, mandatory programme to build sales skills and product knowledge through a blended approach of classroom and online training. Selected high performers also have the opportunity to attend an executive programme designed by INSEAD to help them adapt to the fast-evolving and increasingly digital future of private banking.

Regulations | How has your private bank responded to regulators’ increased emphasis on building proper banking culture?

Conduct and culture is a critical component of how we manage the private bank. We focus on the our clients who are at the centre outcome for of everything we do. While we have a robust control infrastructure for managing conduct risk and building a strong culture, what is equally important is that everyone in the team understands what is expected of them. To this end, we set the right “tone from above” by equipping every manager so they can have effective conduct and culture conversations with their teams. Additionally, we align and assess our teams’ non- financial performance against the bank’s valued behaviours and our conduct indicators.

We continue to listen and respond to regulators and meet with them regularly to share our progress in this important area. We recognise that having diversity and fostering inclusiveness help us not just with financial performance but also with the conduct of our teams and in building a culture of excellence.


Meet 2019’s industry leaders in the full round up of of Asian Private Banker‘‘s The Final Word 2019.

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