The Swiss and Thai bank are forming a wealth management pact, continuing a trend of Swiss and other European firms seeking to exploit the rising affluence of Southeast Asian nations.
Pictet and Bangkok Bank have unveiled a strategic wealth management alliance to tap into Thailand's emerging wealth story - a pattern seen with a number of other Western banks. As part of the move, Claude Haberer, a Pictet equity partner and chairman of the wealth management arm in Asia, will join Bangkok Bank as an advisor to the president from January 2022 following his retirement from Pictet.
Geneva-based Pictet will provide global wealth and investment management expertise and knowhow to help Bangkok Bank enhance its wealth management solutions in Thailand, Pictet said in a statement yesterday.
Bangkok Bank and Pictet have already collaborated this year. In September, Bangkok Capital Asset Management Company Limited, a subsidiary of Bangkok Bank, launched two funds which are exclusive for Bangkok Bank clients - the BCAP Global Multi Asset Fund and BCAP Global Multi Asset Plus Fund. Pictet is the investment advisor on the funds. BBL Asset Management Company Limited (BBLAM), another bank subsidiary, earlier this year launched the Bualuang Sustainable Investing Portfolio fund which invests in sustainability funds managed by Pictet Asset Management. This week, BBLAM launched two new B-SIP funds, Bualuang Sustainable Investing Portfolio Super Savings Fund and Bualuang Sustainable Investing Portfolio RMF.
Banks such as Julius Baer, Credit Suisse and Bordier & Cie have been pushing into markets such as those of Thailand and Vietnam. In some cases banks have embraced a joint venture/local collaboration model to use on-the-ground business of established partner firms. To take one example, Credit Suisse launched onshore wealth management services in Thailand in 2016, with a dedicated wealth management team in Bangkok. In Pictet's case, it has served private clients in Asia for more than three decades. In early February, HSBC Private Banking unveiled its new private banking business in Thailand, the group’s second onshore business in Southeast Asia after Singapore.
“The products and services Bangkok Bank will develop with Pictet Group through this alliance will help us create more value for our wealth clients, complement their existing portfolio management and investment strategies with more sophisticated solutions, and help preserve their wealth for generations to come," Chartsiri Sophonpanich (pictured), president of Bangkok Bank, said. “We look forward to welcoming Mr Claude Haberer and the deep wealth investment experience he will bring to Bangkok Bank and building on the common values which Bangkok Bank and Pictet Group share, especially our commitment to working closely with clients to earn their trust and confidence and building long-term relationships.”
Haberer first joined the Geneva-based firm in its wealth management Asia business in 2011 as its chief executive. He later became chairman of the unit in October 2019. Previously, he served in various senior roles at BNP Paribas, including as its North Asia private banking CEO.
Earlier in October, Pictet Wealth Management appointed Alexandre Tavazzi as Asia chief investment officer, after having been global strategist and head of CIO Office for the firm.
To see a briefing note about developments in tax, regulation and policies relevant to Thailand, see this Baker McKenzie note here.