Awards for Distinction 2019 – COO of the Year

COO of the Year


Patrick Dreyfuss

COO of the Year

Patrick Dreyfuss

COO wealth management group, DBS Bank

“This award isn’t mine alone; it is testament to the efforts of the amazing teams and colleagues I’ve had the privilege to work with here at DBS – digitalising our business, improving experiences and embracing a culture of learning, change and innovation, whilst nimbly adapting our processes to an ever-changing environment.

It has been an extraordinary journey working with team DBS and our clients to navigate a world that’s evolving faster than ever, and where the likes of ESG, data and artificial intelligence, and personalised client experiences will play increasingly important roles. I look forward to building our next chapter together!”

Winners rationale

Considering that DBS Bank was originally set up by the Singapore government as The Development Bank of Singapore for the purpose of industrial finance — its ambition to be seen as a tech company, not a bank, raised quite a few eyebrows at first.

Enter Patrick Dreyfuss, COO wealth management group of DBS Bank. Since joining the bank five years ago, he has been steadfast in boosting its efficiency and performance, and furthering its digital transformation regionally across Singapore and HK booking centres, as well as supporting the development of the bank’s international centres in UAE, UK and Thailand amidst rising regulatory scrutiny across the industry.

Balancing technological innovation and regulatory compliance has never been an easy task, but is one that Dreyfuss executes with speed and thought. In his home market of Singapore, his team recently one-upped peers by being amongst the first to effectively implement operational changes for the accredited investor regime and the opt-in process, as per the regulators’ guidance, thus helping bankers to save time.

DBS has also been successful in leveraging digitalisation to enhance client servicing standards and build a sustainable business, thus giving its relationship managers (RMs) a competitive edge. Examples include the recently launched Portfolio Advisory Enablement Tool (PAET) which offers even more personalised and relevant investment recommendations, end-to-end automation of request for quotes and straight-through execution on a wide range of products, KYC processes, and sales surveillance.

DBS has also continually enhanced and reinforced risk culture across the organisation. For instance, an individual RM control dashboard was implemented and processes were reviewed to align compliance with control and regulatory expectations, and client needs. In that respect, DBS rolled out a suitability approach in 2018 based on the entire portfolio composition rather than individual risk ratings of the products.

Technology has been top of the agenda for the ‘Digital Bank of Singapore’ as it aspires to be the ‘D’ in GANDALF — Google, Amazon, Netflix, DBS, Apple, LinkedIn, Facebook — placing itself at the same level of technological advancement as some of today’s best-known tech houses.

Both its client-facing app (DBS iWealth) and RM portal (RM Mobility) have seen upgrades this year, most recently being Hong Kong’s enhanced DBS iWealth platform, offering clients a state-of-the-art and personalised digital banking experience. In 2019, the bank launched DBS digiPortfolio in Singapore as a smart and effective way to democratise and extend the private bank’s discretionary management expertise to a wider audience. The hybrid human-robo investment solution provides access to specially constructed portfolios that are auto-rebalanced as necessary.

The bank’s fintech and regtech engagement arm StartupXchange — which scours the market for companies that can complement DBS’s technology — has been active across both Hong Kong and Singapore, exemplifying a commitment to hunt for best-in-breed tech.

Shaking up the bank’s operations and continually pushing for its technology architecture, systems, client and employee experiences to be best-in-class, Dreyfuss in 2019, with the support of the highly professional and enthusiastic DBS team, carried out the integral task of cementing DBS’ position as the digitally-enabled wealth management bank of choice — for Singapore and beyond.

Patrick Dreyfuss, COO wealth management group of DBS Bank, is Asian Private Banker’s COO of the Year for 2019.

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