Awards for Distinction 2021 – Best Private Bank – CIO Office

Best Private Bank CIO Office


Credit Suisse

Best Private Bank – CIO Office

John Woods

CIO Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse

“We are delighted to win this award for the third consecutive year. This continued recognition is a testament to the calibre of our team and our ability to provide timely investment insights in volatile market conditions.

Our international platform and connectivity, as well as our long-term and thematic investment calls allow us to provide valuable expert views which translate into strong portfolio performances.

Above all, we stayed close to clients and delivered investment insights, bringing into play multiple channels which were all very well received.”

Winners rationale

While Credit Suisse’s victory in Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – CIO Office category in 2021 marked the third time in a row the Swiss lender has walked away with the much-coveted accolade, this most recent prize was no doubt the hardest-earned, considering the volatility that tore through Asian markets.
Despite a sell-off that rocked Chinese equity and high-yield bonds for much of 2021, Credit Suisse’s CIO office in Asia-Pacific consistently provided alpha with its strategic and tactical asset allocation calls across both its balanced and growth portfolios. Over a three-year time frame, this outperformance is even more pronounced.

But below the pure performance numbers lies a series of astute individual calls that reflect both current market realities and broader structural trends. For example, the CIO office was successful in generating substantial alpha from a bullish position in Chinese treasuries that was initiated at the start of 2021, as well as an underweight call on Asian high-yield bonds that helped clients to escape the worst of the carnage sparked by a liquidity crisis at developer China Evergrande.

In terms of broader structural trends, Credit Suisse’s Sustainable China strategic call was paying off handsomely for clients. The theme, which is one of several megathemes that have been pinpointed by the bank, generated significant real returns during 2021 at a time when the broader Chinese stock market was tumbling.

For Asia, 2021 marked the fifth consecutive year of positive alpha contribution for Credit Suisse’s balanced and growth portfolios. The power of the CIO office’s view across the bank’s business was demonstrated in demand from clients for mandates, with net sales of managed solutions more than doubling in 2021 to reach a five-year high.

Perhaps more important than the performance of the regional CIO office’s calls during the year were the impressive efforts by Credit Suisse to build out its entire CIO ecosystem across Asia-Pacific. Among the most creditable of these were the crafting of the capital market assumptions and the launch of strategic and tactical asset allocation calls as part of the successful efforts in onshoring and localisation of the CIO team and entire investment process in alignment with the wealth management APAC business.

As a comprehensive offering, Credit Suisse’s CIO office in Asia-Pacific made significant strides in client outreach during 2021 — something that was more important than usual in view of the stomach-churning volatility in markets. The 16% rise in client interactions during the year included more than 150 media events.

Credit Suisse also built on its standing as a heavyweight in thought leadership. In 2021, the bank launched a dedicated content team designed to better synergise and distribute the CIO’s house views across digital platforms such as podcasts and video series. Fully integrated with Credit Suisse’s digital private banking platform, the initiatives helped to boost client engagement with the CIO office’s most up-to-date house views.

That is why Credit Suisse is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – CIO Office for 2021.

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