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Small players win in Benchmark Private Wealth Awards

Inaugural awards organised by WealthAsia Media honours best practices in the wealth management industry

WealthAsia Group publisher and chief executive Elsa Pau says that in organising the awards, it hopes to create social impact through influencing asset owners to invest responsibly and ethically for their future generations.


SMALLER industry players were big winners at an inaugural awards that honours best practices in the wealth management industry.

The Benchmark Private Wealth Awards, given out for the first time at a gala event on Friday evening, aim to raise awareness of responsible private banking and drive better practices in impact investing.

The awards were organised by WealthAsia Media, which gives out a series of best practice awards in the financial services sector in the region.

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The company's flagship magazine, Benchmark, covers personal finance and investing issues in the region.

The awards were given out to 13 organisations, including private banks and professional services providers.

They were assessed on their capabilities in four areas: investment management, wealth planning and solutions, good governance, and digital.

Entrants were judged by an independent panel comprising high-net-worth individuals, consultants and representatives from family businesses as well as asset managers.

"In organising the awards, we hope to create social impact through influencing asset owners to invest responsibly and ethically for their future generations," said WealthAsia Group publisher and chief executive Elsa Pau.

Ms Pau said that the strong performance of smaller private banks in the awards came as a pleasant surprise.

She noted that some smaller players have been investing in risk-profiling platforms which allow for more sophisticated assessments of investors' risk appetites, especially across different generations.

"We're seeing the smaller banks coming forward very hungry to take over this segment, especially in going for the next generation of wealth. "

She added: "We're very surprised in this award to see so many well-performing smaller banks. This shows small is actually beautiful."

Rebekah Chuan, EFG Asset Management's head of investment in Asia and chief executive officer in Singapore, said that winning an award is "not the end goal". The firm won a gold award for discretionary portfolio management and received a commendation for its investment advisory services.

"We will continue to ensure that we stay ahead of the pack in terms of strategic thinking, planning and execution because the ultimate measure of our success is not where we are today, but rather where we are during times of challenge and crisis," she added.

Didier von Daeniken, global head of private banking and wealth management at Standard Chartered, said that the bank has partnered Fitch and Insead to ensure that relationship managers are equipped for the future of high net worth wealth management. The bank scooped up gold awards for these efforts.

"As wealth changes hands to the daughters and sons of our clients, our Future Global Leaders Programme offers them a platform to build their prowess in leadership, communications and sustainable development, guided by leading global figures in business, politics and diplomacy," he added.

Ong Yeng Fang, the head of UOB Private Bank which picked up four awards, said: "We will continue to provide our clients with innovative investment solutions, such as our discretionary portfolio mandates. Our large client base of entrepreneurial business owners will also have greater access to UOB Group's corporate banking and investment banking expertise and solutions."

The awards night also raised funds for MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund, a charity organisation which works with disadvantaged children.