Practical analysis for investment professionals
04 November 2014

What’s Wrong with the Asian Wealth Management Industry?

Asia Pacific has nearly as many high-net-worth individuals as the United States, the region with the highest number of HNWI in the world, according to the 2014 World Wealth Report. And their numbers are growing fast.

So why have some private banks in the region grumbled about profit?

Paul Smith, CFA, managing director, Asia Pacific global head, institutional partnerships, at CFA Institute, says it’s because private wealth business models in the region are not connecting with the needs of local clients.

Speaking at the recent Wealth Think conference in Singapore, Smith said: “I would argue that the business models in this region are struggling, and one of the reasons for that is the business models that are most current here are European or North American business models that are being imposed upon a client base that is, today, predisposed against those models.” He noted, for example, that many firms talk about running an advisory business model in a market that’s resistant to the idea of paying for investment advice.

Smith has worked in the investment management industry for 30 years, mostly in Asia. Before joining CFA Institute two years ago, he ran his own private wealth management business (Triple A Partners) in Hong Kong.

Watch the video below to hear Smith’s thoughts on how private wealth firms can succeed in Asia Pacific.

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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.

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About the Author(s)
Heda Bayron

Heda Bayron is a communications specialist at CFA Institute in Asia Pacific. She has more than 15 years of experience in corporate communications and journalism. Previously, Bayron was a communications consultant at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and a senior press officer at Asia Society in New York. She also worked with the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants as deputy editor of its member magazine, A Plus, where she won a Society of Publishers in Asia award for Editorial Excellence in Business Reporting. Before that, Bayron was an assistant editor at Voice of America's Asia News Center in Hong Kong for more than seven years.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the Asian Wealth Management Industry?”

  1. Kapil Mehra says:

    Great words by Paul Smith.

  2. Jaimon Varghese says:

    Very informative and relevant speech, hope everyone in the finance industry adhere to them..

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