Awards for Distinction 2021 – Best Independent Wealth Manager – Asia Pacific

Best Independent Wealth Manager Asia Pacific


Carret Private

Best Independent Wealth Manager – Asia Pacific

Kenny Ho

CEO and managing partner, Carret Private

“As a firm, Carret Private has been fortunate to be able to build a foundation of highly experienced investment professionals who all follow and abide by the principles in which we manage our client assets. This award from Asian Private Banker, the leading Asian publication, is a true testament to the people which have built this firm and the principles for which we stand.”

Winners rationale

Following the strategic alliance with Singapore’s Lumen Capital Investors in 2019 and the acquisition of CSOP’s multi-family office business in 2020, Hong Kong-based independent wealth manager Carret Private carried its impressive recent growth trajectory into 2021.

But the mettle of Carret Private, which provides investment management and related services to family offices in the region, was truly tested last year amid choppy markets.

While 2021 was a volatile year for equities and bonds across Asia-Pacific, a proposed portfolio by the firm still achieved a high single-digit return, according to data seen by Asian Private Banker’s judging panel. More important, however, is Carret Private’s long-term success in generating out-performance for clients. Annualised returns in recent years coming in significantly higher than a portfolio comprising 50% global equity and 50% global bonds, with lower maximum drawdowns and a higher Sharpe ratio.

Carret Private differs from many of its peers in that it takes a client-centric approach to portfolio construction. The wealth manager does not believe in timing the market or taking top down views on asset classes, but instead takes into account risk tolerance, return expectation and liquidity requirements to deliver customised portfolios that withstand drawdowns and deliver long-term returns. Against a backdrop of sky-high valuations for traditional asset classes, Carret Private is a firm believer in the importance of alternative investments as a driver of alpha, and has proved its ability to tap industry connections to source exclusive deals in this area for clients.

But all of this would mean little if it did not equal improved business performance for Carret Private. According to figures shared during the judging process, the firm enjoyed robust growth in AUM during the period under consideration, with the majority of this rise coming from new client assets rather than just investing prowess.

Perhaps most impressively, a significant proportion of the inflows came from new accounts. While Carret Private admitted that limits on travel due to COVID-19 made the process of new account openings difficult in 2020, the wealth manager took full advantage of a relative easing in restrictions in the region last year to actively engage with prospects and onboard clients.

Those new client assets gathered in 2021 have already started feeding through to Carret Private’s top-line, with the bigger asset base translating into higher revenues. The wealth manager also enlarged the proportion of its revenues derived from more stable recurring income sources, such as discretionary portfolio management, during the year.

The icing on the cake, if one were needed, is that the upturn in business performance coincided with a significant improvement in Carret Private’s cost-to-income ratio. That was partly down to the larger revenue base, but the firm has also cut costs via organisational streamlining and restructuring, as well as making tentative investments in digitalisation and automation.

These are the reasons why Carret Private has been chosen by Asian Private Banker as the Best Independent Wealth Manager – Asia-Pacific for 2021.

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