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VP Bank Group sets its sights on Asia

VP Bank's executive team: (from left) Reto Marx, Thomas Rupf, Bruno Morel, Thomas Jost, and Karen Tan

“Our focus on financial intermediaries, representing about half of our booked assets, uniquely positions us to take private banking to new heights in Asia.”

Bruno Morel
Chief Executive Officer
VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch

VP Bank is one of the largest banks in the Principality of Liechtenstein. In addition to its headquarters there, VP Bank Group has offices in five other locations around the globe: Switzerland, Luxembourg, the British Virgin Islands, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

The APAC region is regarded as one of the most important growth markets for private banking and is one of the identified target markets where we see attractive growth opportunities. The target markets include Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as North Asia, in particular greater China. With an eye on Asia, our business model is built on the two strategic pillars and core competencies of Private Banking and Intermediaries. 

“Our focus on financial Intermediaries, representing about half of our booked assets, uniquely positions us to take private banking to new heights in Asia,” said Bruno Morel, Chief Executive Officer of VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch. “As a boutique private bank enjoying a strong capital base, an ability for quick decisions and the support of its three majority shareholders - all established, successful entrepreneurs in their own right - allows us to keep longevity in mind when offering personalised services drawing from our deep rooted knowledge of both Asian and European markets and complemented by our state-of-the-art digital platform.”

As part of our growth strategy, we expanded the organisational and management structure at our Singapore site in 2019 and increased our client focus. We also significantly bolstered our product line with offerings such as structured products and mortgages aimed specifically at our Asian clients.

Through a memorandum of understanding in July 2019, VP Bank Ltd and Hywin Wealth Management Co., Ltd. announced their intent to develop a joint collaboration platform in Hong Kong in order to offer high-quality asset management solutions to wealthy Chinese clients. The two companies will create a comprehensive, global asset management product line for the rapidly growing segment of Chinese high-net-worth individuals.

Deepened Bench Strength with Strategic Hires

In Asia, we have built up our bench strength and momentum with key hires since upgrading our license to a wholesale bank more than one and a half years ago.

Reto Marx, Head of Intermediaries and Private Banking, joined us in January 2019. He brings with him over 20 years of senior wealth management experience in Asia.

On the external asset management front, Thomas Jost joined us as Head of Intermediaries in Q3 2019. He has been in Singapore since 2006 building a leading EAM franchise in APAC for the likes of Credit Suisse and Bank Julius Baer.

On the private banking side, we added Karen Tan as Head of Private Banking in Q3 2018. A veteran banker, Tan and a team of senior bankers joined from Indosuez Wealth Management.

Another senior member of its management team in the Singapore branch is Thomas Rupf, who is its Asia Head of Investment Advisory and Treasury.  A long-time pillar of VP Bank in Asia, he plays a key role in driving forward the advisory and treasury business through the development and marketing of investment ideas and solutions for the Private Banking and Intermediaries business.

In fueling its expansion mode, VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch continues to boost its front office through the hiring of more team heads and relationship managers to support its growth ambitions.

Leading with Trustworthiness and Innovative Digital Solutions

The growing number of clients in Asia also creates promising opportunities. Thanks to our many years of experience and professional products and services, our broad range of digital solutions for sharing data and information makes VP Bank a leading bank for Intermediaries. These clients demand the right tools, transparency, and the ability to self-execute, more so than direct clients, however we are confident that private clients will also have these demands in future. As for Intermediaries, our Private Banking clients also enjoy access to our industry-leading data feeds, pricing tools and e-banking systems, putting more control into the hands of our clients.

Our open architecture approach guarantees independent advice from us. Working with our partners around the globe, we are able to recommend the investment instruments best suited to everyone's needs and come up with innovative solutions. Never resting on our laurels, we continue to innovate. 

With VP Fund Solutions, we have created an innovative and dynamic funds competency centre at our Liechtenstein and Luxembourg sites which acts as a one-stop shop for all services related to the fund business. The investment fund business of VP Bank Group is brought together under the VP Fund Solutions roof. It includes mainly the business with third party funds managed by independent asset managers, family offices managing traditional or alternative funds such as private equity or real estate funds. Based on our group capabilities in the field of fund solutions, we will also be increasingly looking into the local funds business.

Advancing Strategy 2025 in Asia

With our new Group CEO Paul Arni on board and the recently communicated Strategy 2025, we are primed to accelerate growth of our two core pillars for Asia: Wealthy Individuals and Intermediaries. Furthermore, the appointment of Dr Thomas Meier to the Group’s board of directors in February 2019 and his appointment to the Group`s Chairman of the Board in April 2020 further entrenches our commitment to our Asia strategy. Thomas brings with him 30 years of experience in the private banking sector, having spent over 10 years as Julius Baer’s Asia CEO. 

Our Strategy 2025 focuses on three main themes: Evolve, Scale and Move. These themes refer to the profitability and targeted growth of our existing business (Evolve); efficiency, scaling and cost discipline (Scale); and winning new business opportunities to generate additional revenue (Move). The overriding objective of Strategy 2025 is to seize opportunities as they arise and to increase Group earnings to CHF 100 million.

Our commitment to sustainable business practices is also an essential part of our corporate culture. Our sustainable investment philosophy “Investing for Change” plays a major role in the new Strategy 2025 and seeks to reposition our product line, including the creation of our own sustainability funds and access to new impact investing solutions.

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About VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch

Established in Singapore in 2008, VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch is a boutique private bank with a client-centric business philosophy.

VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch provides specialized wealth management solutions and family office services for high-net-worth clients and professional asset managers and is dedicated to the protection and growth of its clients’ wealth. The bank offers a holistic suite of services in wealth management. Apart from private wealth management, VP Bank Ltd Singapore Branch provides comprehensive services for asset managers and other financial intermediaries. The service offering comprises a trading platform, banking services — including e-banking and mobile banking — and operational support. Partnership arrangements with professionals include tailor-made investment advisory, discretionary management solutions, and custodian services.

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