Amid ongoing uncertainties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, signs of optimism have emerged in global markets as economies reopen and consumer confidence returns. Yet, risks remain and these will have an impact on investment decisions and portfolio management.
Leveraging the expertise and international connectivity of a global financial institution, HSBC Global Private Banking supports high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and their families across Asia Pacific as they seek opportunities amid the turbulence.
“The last two years have been very volatile and our clients are looking to us for guidance,” says Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking in Asia Pacific. “As such, we are working hard to help our clients grow, manage and sustain their wealth, while opening up a world of opportunity to them.”
Another important theme is the revival of Asia in the coming years, particularly growth areas that will emerge in the post-pandemic era such as healthcare and education.
“In response to the pandemic, Asia has turned towards technological innovation, the net-zero transition, and continued growth in consumption to drive its growth in the long term,” Tan says.
Achieving Optimal Diversification
With the pandemic making risk management more important than ever, HSBC Global Private Banking aims to help investors diversify their portfolios across assets and geographies in the most optimal way possible.
Asian investors who have traditionally focused on public markets are now increasingly investing in private assets and alternative investments to help reduce volatility and improve yields, Tan says. The growing interest in alternatives speaks to one of the bank’s core strengths. Trade publication Asian Private Banker named HSBC Global Private Banking the Best Private Bank for Alternatives Advisory for the third consecutive year.
“Investing in private markets allows you to take a more medium to longer term view without being impacted by the volatility associated with public markets,” Tan says. “This resonates very well with investors who want a more diversified portfolio.”
Tan also sees rising demand for structured products which enable investors to more effectively take a view on where they believe the market is headed. “If you think a particular stock has a limited upside, or it is going down, they can express it through structured products,” she explains. “Such products can also provide access to more niche asset classes such as commodities.”
Geographical diversification has also become more important for ultra-high net worth families, Tan says. Spreading their wealth across multiple jurisdictions bodes well for these clients as their next-generation members increasingly prefer to live in different parts of the world. “We are talking about families with global lifestyles, and this is where our international network and expertise can help them diversify their wealth more effectively.”
Meeting Changing Wealth Needs
The needs of ultra-high net worth families are likely to vary and evolve over time. This is especially true in Asia where much of the wealth has been accumulated by entrepreneurs who built and continue to run successful businesses. HSBC has supported many of these entrepreneurial families through the years, developing an intimate understanding of their needs across businesses, private wealth, and even generations.
By leveraging on HSBC’s universal bank model, its private bankers are able to meet these ever-changing needs at every stage of the clients’ wealth journey by bringing to bear the full capabilities of the entire group.
“This is where HSBC is able to support them, not just on the personal front, but also in terms of their business needs through our commercial banking and markets divisions,” Tan says. “As many Asian businesses today are global in nature, HSBC’s global connectivity allows us to offer our solutions wherever our clients have a presence.”
Investing in Digital
As private banking clients become more plugged into technology, HSBC is engaging them through various digital channels such as mobile apps that enable remote transactions or through communication platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat.
“If we want to eff ectively serve our clients’ needs, then our digitalisation drive is of utmost importance,” Tan says. “If we are not interacting with them through channels that they are regularly utilising, then I think we wouldn’t be in a position to compete. Digitalisation is an absolute strategic priority for us. Our clients are very busy and sometimes it’s difficult for them to find the time to call us. We want them to have an online platform where they can safely discuss their investments anywhere and anytime, at their own convenience.”
Reflecting the bank’s commitment to digitalisation, Tan said HSBC Global Private Banking is investing more than US$100 million in Asia over a two-year period to build and innovate its core banking and digital platforms.
HSBC’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Among the seven awards HSBC Global Private Banking received from Asian Private Banker this year are the Best Private Bank for Client Experience and blue-ribbon Best Private Bank in Asia Pacific, accolades that reflect the strides it has taken to deliver industry-leading client offerings and services.
Looking ahead, HSBC Global Private Banking will continue to craft solutions that are designed to support their clients as they progress on their wealth journeys in a landscape marked by constant disruptions.
“As one of the world’s leading private banks, we pride ourselves on being able to understand the needs of our clients and the market environment to bring personalised solutions,” Tan says. “This is delivered through our global network, our universal banking model, as well as the investments that we are making into digital.”
The information contained in this article has not been reviewed in the light of your individual circumstances and is for information purposes only. It does not purport to provide legal, taxation or other advice and should not be taken as such. No client or other reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of the content of this article without seeking specific professional advice. Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.