Private institutions that cater to the demand from wealthy clients
When Bordier & Cie , a family-run bank founded in 1844, moved into its newly established Asian base in Singapore, it threw a big bash to welcome guests to its stunning new offices. Managing partner and CEO of Bordier & Cie Singapore, Evrard Bordier, says, “As a private bank, an office that reflects its appropriate stature and personality is key for two audiences. Firstly, it needs to be a suitable environment in which to host our clients. Secondly, it needs to be a place our staff can call their second home."
In addition to being “one of the most progressive and intelligent buildings in Singapore to date", its glass walls, says Bordier, act as “a visual metaphor" for an industry long shrouded in secrecy. “The future will be a transparent one. There is no secrecy about being with us – this is what we are trying to convey with our new office design."
Technology is also a key business component and Bordier says the bank has made “a considerable investment" in one of the best portfolio management and monitoring systems available. While the younger generation who are inheriting the first generations’ wealth have more technology-driven demands, tailored services remain vital, he adds.
Aon Hewitt is a global leader in human resource solutions, whose wealth management practice focuses on financial wellness and retirement solutions for organisations and their employees and financial advice to individual executives.
Shikha Gaur, its executive director – retirement and wealth management, says, “We win the loyalty of our clients by helping them achieve their business and financial objectives. And while the quality of an office alone isn’t sufficient to attract and retain clients, it certainly gives them the confidence that they are dealing with an established and robust organisation."
The company’s new offices on seven floors at SGX Centre in the CBD include a reception area, several meeting and conference rooms and a plush lobby. “Our research shows that an office also boosts employee attraction and engagement. The layout inspires collaboration and helps us nurture many new ideas," says Gaur.
She adds that many high-net-worth individuals prefer face-to-face communication and that there is value in both online and personal interaction; the mix being determined by clients’ preferences.
Dominic Gamble, CEO and co-founder of the award-winning website,
Find a Wealth Manager, has embraced new technology completely to steer clients to the best wealth manager for their needs.
He explains, “We are an intelligent search engine for affluent investors to find their best-matched wealth managers. Introductions are made based on a proprietary algorithm we have designed to map the preferences of a user to the capabilities and strengths of wealth managers. There is no ‘hearsay’ or subjectivity; our process brings efficiency to an opaque industry."
The service is free for customers as the wealth managers (some 20 institutions in Singapore and 40 in the UK) pay to be included. They range from household private banking names to small and sophisticated wealth boutiques. The website’s clients are typically entrepreneurs, corporate executives and retirees. Gamble says, “Wealthy Asian clients who were once sceptical of the Internet are now using it more and more as the ‘trickle-up effect’ of widespread usage in the retail market takes hold."