Best for Asset Management in Thailand 2020
Phatra Wealth Management
Phatra Securities was spun out of Merrill Lynch and Kasikornbank in 2003, and then taken over in a management buyout by a group of local executives who saw a bright future for their domestic market.
It has since become one of the most impressive, entrepreneurial brokers in the country. It should be little surprise that its wealth management arm is also punching above its weight.
Phatra had a great 2019, generating net new money of Bt98.2 billion ($3.1 billion), about 66% more than in the previous year. It added 1,774 clients, increasing its overall client base to 18,631 people. Its revenues grew Bt1.25 billion, up about 9.45% on the previous year.
Narit Kosalathip, head of wealth management, has overseen growth in headcount. The bank added nine relationship managers last year, bringing the team to 72. Phatra also roughly tripled its investment specialist team to 22, giving it a greater ability to create bespoke investment solutions for clients.
Phatra’s main pitch to its clients is its uniqueness. It is the only large private bank in the country that has grown out of a securities house, meaning it can beat the competition in trading, product choice and investment advice.
Its rivals have all been created from commercial banks, where lending is likely to be easier but giving access to a range of different asset classes faces greater hurdles.
Case in point: Phatra is unique among Thai private banks in offering its clients the ability to buy private debt.
Phatra Wealth Management is increasingly using events to educate its clients and help them network – or at least it was until the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world.
It hosted an event at the start of the year that featured talks from investors such as BlackRock, JPMorgan, SCB Asset Management and Oaktree Asset Management. The theme of the event was ‘forging resilience’, certainly an apt choice given how the year has gone.
Phatra’s high net-worth clients represented assets under management of Bt561.1 billion ($17.8 billion) in February, a rise of 12.2% over the previous year. Those short-term numbers are eye-catching, but they are the result of a long-term investment in the market.
Phatra executives say that building a private banking business is a marathon, not a sprint. They seem able to do both.