Awards for Distinction 2019 – Best Private Bank – South Asia UHNW

Best Private Bank South Asia UHNW


Credit Suisse

Best Private Bank – South Asia UHNW

Benjamin Cavalli

head of private banking South Asia, Credit Suisse Private Banking Asia Pacific

“We are delighted to be named Best Private Bank – South Asia UHNW. This award recognises the strong franchise we have built in the region serving UHNW clients across their business and personal investment lifecycles. Our seamless collaboration with our industry leading APAC investment banking and capital markets team brings together a unique and integrated platform serving the financing and innovative investment needs of our UHNW entrepreneurial clients. We are grateful for the continued trust and support our UHNW clients place in us as we partner them in their wealth transformation journey.”

Winners rationale

There are certain attributes a private bank must possess to holistically bank South Asia’s UHNW segment. The first is a footprint and market presence that mirrors the market presence and onshore/offshore exposure and activities of its clients. The second is a relevant capability suite that, ideally, goes beyond wealth management to include services typically provided by a corporate and investment bank. Of course, such services do not need to be offered on an in-house basis, but those banks that do will stand a better chance of developing stickier relationships with this entrepreneurial client base. And third is the ability to execute with agility, innovation, and on competitive terms.

Credit Suisse, when measured against these three important qualities and, crucially, its peers, is the clear leader in the UHNW segment in South Asia. No other global private bank can boast a footprint — and dedicated market presence in the variety of these markets — as Credit Suisse can. The Judges would point to Indonesia, a long-held bastion of the bank by virtue of its investment banking arm; Thailand, a competitive geography where the bank has doubled down with an onshore team and strong hires with results to vindicate its commitment; Australia, were Credit Suisse stands alone as the only genuine private banking offering, by the Judges’ reckoning; and Singapore, where the bank leads with the largest specialist private banking team in the market.

Equally important is the fact that each of these markets benefits from the same integrated platform and solutions suite. That’s critical for any bank that wishes to bank these clients, holistically, and in the long-term. Indeed, where Credit Suisse excels is in breaking down the barriers between offshore and onshore markets. As a result, the bank’s relationships are deeply institutionalised. This is evidenced by the litany of flagship deals it achieved in 2019, most of which demonstrate the bank’s bespoke capabilities: the setup of a trust for Forbes listed individuals in the Philippines that oversees a conglomerate and whose relationship with the bank runs deep; the successful launch of a European property fund that drew in significant inflows from Asia; an immense — and rapidly concluded — financing deal with a major NRI client that drew on the strengths of Credit Suisse’s private bank, IBCM, and financing units; and very significant inflows from UHNW clients into the bank’s flagship digital advisory mandate service, Credit Suisse Invest, which has continued to go from strength to strength in Asia since its launch in 2018.

These cases may scratch the surface of what the bank achieved in 2019, but what is important to recognise is that they are indicative of Credit Suisse’s ability to execute with agility and innovation. Accordingly, a survey conducted by Credit Suisse found that almost 90% of its private banking clients in South Asia were very satisfied or satisfied with the service that they received and with the results achieved with the bank.

Moreover, the bank has been astute in the way it targets new business in the sub-region, and within markets, operating multiple market prospect management teams whose responsibility is to identify and target top prospects across geographies and decide on a strategy of approach. Again, this is an important tool for the bank to build new relationships in a geography as complex as South Asia, where wealth is not always located in commercial centres and where relationships are often intertwined with legacy relationships with local lenders.

And then there is the sheer depth and breadth of the services that Credit Suisse provides to its UHNW clientele in the region which make for a compelling case as to why new prospects should choose the bank as its primary partner. From full access to Credit Suisse’s deep bench of investment specialists and strategists, to its industry-leading wealth planning and family offices experts, bespoke financing, trading and execution services, strategic advisory and private asset group, and bespoke mandate and fund solutions.

This is a bank that backs up its value proposition with content and delivery. Little surprise then that on the financial performance side, Credit Suisse continues to outpace its peers in terms of NNA across onshore and offshore South Asian markets, top line, and productivity growth over an extended period.

Credit Suisse is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – South Asia UHNW for 2019.

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