Strategy

Swiss Private Bank Taps Thai Market

Robbie Lawther, Reporter, 9 March 2018

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Two financial institutions have joined forces in a bid to create a wealth management offering for high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients in Thailand.

Swiss private banking group Julius Baer and Siam Commercial Bank, a Thailand-based group, has signed an agreement to establish a joint venture focusing on offering wealth management services to Thai clients.

The joint venture will complement SCB’s existing private banking capabilities and open up access for Julius Baer to the Thai wealth management market, the firms said in a statement. The venture will operate via domestic and international companies in Thailand and Singapore, respectively, and provide a global wealth management operation tailored to the needs of its Thai client base. 

At the outset of the venture, Julius Baer will hold 40 per cent of the operation and has the option to increase that stake to 49 per cent.

Thailand’s overall wealth market is estimated to be around $300 billion, with a rapidly growing population of high net worth individuals of approximately 30,000, according to the BCG Global Wealth Report 2017

“We recognise that the Thai client community is increasingly seeking sophisticated advisory, investment demands and global solutions,” said Jimmy Lee, member of the executive board and head of Asia-Pacific at Julius Baer. “We believe that the combination of SCB’s long-standing experience, expertise and brand heritage with Julius Baer’s leading independent global private wealth management capabilities, will offer a unique value proposition specifically tailored to the demands of Thai clients.”

“This partnership is our first international move under the new ‘Going Upside Down’ strategy where a new banking platform is developed and introduced. With a long-term strategic partnership structure with SCB, Julius Baer is committed to dedicating their resources to Thai clients, allowing us to deploy their full international wealth management capabilities into Thai market like never before," Arthid Nanthawithaya, president and chief executive, Siam Commercial Bank, said.

SCB has been serving wealthy clients since 1907 with over $23 billion of assets under management from its wealth management operations. SCB has more than 13 million clients across Thailand and is listed on the stock exchange of Thailand, with a current market capitalization of around $15 billion. 

Thailand has become more visible in the privat banking space. As reported here in late February, Avaloq, the banking software and technology firm, recently signed up its first private banking client in the Southeast Asian country.
 

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