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Asia Private Banking Awards

Best for wealth transfer/succession planning in Singapore 2022

UOB

UOB made two announcements in August that suggested a doubling-down on Singapore’s lucrative wealth management market.

First, it created a new department in its private bank dedicated to wooing prospective high net worth clients and devising products and services for its existing ones. Second, it hired industry veteran Chew Mun Yew from Julius Baer to shift UOB’s business into higher gear.

Chew, who has worked at DBS Bank, American Express, the Carlyle Group and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, is UOB’s head of private wealth.

These efforts, plus more, mean that 87 years of building up its household name in Singapore are paying off for UOB, particularly when it comes to succession planning and the transfer of wealth to future generations.

Doing so seamlessly and with minimal tax and regulatory drama is easier said than done in an increasingly globalized economy, but it’s a skill that UOB has perfected.

Chew Mu Yew, UOB.jpg
Chew Mun Yew, UOB

The art of asset consolidation alone is being sought out more and more. Covid-19 disruptions focused the attention of wealthy Asians on second- and third-generation changing of the guard. With offices around Asia, UOB has vast experience of putting assets in diverse jurisdictions under a single umbrella so they are easier to manage.

UOB’s strengths include probate avoidance so that upon a client’s death, lengthy, public and costly court processes can be sidestepped.

Continuity is another specialty. UOB has products and services by which assets can be administered seamlessly, without disruption both during and after a client’s lifetime.

One benefit for the private banking arm is the fact that UOB has an arguably unrivalled presence in Asia, operating 500 offices in 19 countries. Its open architecture and wide selection of tailored products and solutions give the bank a leg up on its regional rivals.

Neo Teng Hwee, CIO of UOB Private Bank, says the One Bank approach enables UOB to take advantage of strengths across commercial and retail arms to meet clients’ personal, business and family office wealth needs. That includes planning and rebalancing portfolios through different market cycles and building tailored portfolios for long-term growth.

One secret of UOB’s approach: it’s backed by an established southeast Asian footprint. That enables UOB to tap into its full suite of business and investment solutions to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of clients.

It also keeps UOB focused on its three main tenets: value, long-term thinking, and the importance of diversification. The bottom line is that in a world of 24/7 communication from all angles, there’s plenty of market noise. Through it all, underlying fundamentals are what drive value in the long run. It’s something UOB understands better than many peers.

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