Best for investment research in Asia 2020
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Best for investment research in Asia 2020

Citi Private Bank

Steven Lo, Region Head, Asia Pacific, Citi.png
Steven Lo, Citi Private Bank

There are few global banks that can compete with Citi when it comes to product offerings, advice, or sheer size. The bank has more than $496 billion of assets under management globally and operates in over 100 countries. It is no surprise that the firm is also a key player in Asia’s private banking market.

Citi did not break down its Asian revenues, but its Asia-Pacific AuM have grown about 66% since 2011, according to figures from the end of 2019. Its total AuM in Hong Kong, where Asia-Pacific head of private banking Steven Lo is based, have risen 50% over the same period.

Citi has a key advantage over niche private banks, and even those that are attached to smaller corporate and investment banking units: its investment banking team offers product depth across all asset classes, and allows senior executives to connect the dots and work on solutions that make sense for the private bank, the corporate and investment bank and, most of all, for Citi’s clients.

It also has an enviable physical presence across Asia that means Citi bankers are already likely to have relationships with the high net-worth individuals of the future.

Customers looking for asset allocation advice or discretionary portfolio management options need look no further. Citi’s fixed income team gave their clients a return of 9% in 2019.

The discretionary equity team, navigating a tumultuous year defined by trade tensions and the Hong Kong protests, returned 19% from their China/Hong Kong strategy last year.

Other banks can boast impressive returns in the debt and equity markets. What makes Citi stand out is the range of its product offering. The bank considers somewhere between 200 and 300 private equity and real estate deals for its clients every year. It chooses around 5% of them.

Its depth means it can offer clients more specific investment opportunities than its rivals. Whether its clients are interested in buying non-performing loans from European banks, taking equity stakes in pre-IPO Chinese tech companies or taking advantage of special situation investment opportunities, Citi’s global network ensures the practicalities of making these are investments easy.

Citi’s Global Investment Lab offers bespoke solutions to portfolio creation and risk management to its ultra-high net-worth clients, using the bank’s staff in Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, London, Geneva and Dubai to offer a global solution to local account holders.

The bank supplements this man-made insight with technology, including artificial intelligence and machine learning to help generate investment strategies. This approach to identifying investment opportunities, combined with Citi’s world-class ability to execute deals, has given the US bank one of the finest private banking operations in Asia.

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