Best international private bank in Malaysia 2022
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Best international private bank in Malaysia 2022


Anyone looking for hard evidence that Asean can work should consider the growth and success of UOB Private Bank’s regional business as a classic case study. The very reasons why the Singapore-bred bank is turning heads in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and beyond are related to Asean’s journey.

The 10 members of the Association for Southeast Asian nations, or Asean, are famous for competing more than they cooperate. But UOB private banking’s regionalization efforts are a reminder of the vast potential in Singapore’s backyard.

Under the leadership of Chew Mun Yew, head of private wealth, UOB has been doing brisk business serving the ultra high net worth banking segments in China and Hong Kong, two markets that Asean banks and economies are in a never-ending race to harness.

The bank is equally focused on building out its Malaysian franchise. Being among the globe’s highest-rated banks – with an Aa1 rating from Moody’s and an AA- from S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings – certainly helps.

Executives at UOB Private Bank credit that stability to its integrated One Bank approach. It allows personal and corporate wealth management clients to tap into the strengths across UOB's retail and commercial banking divisions.

Whether it’s planning and rebalancing portfolios through changing market cycles or fashioning tailored portfolios for long-term growth, UOB’s private banking arm has clients covered.

Its banking services have become popular with Malaysians trying to make productive and gainful use of resource sector proceeds. The same goes for the firm’s multi-disciplinary advisory offerings for bonds, private equity, structured products, unit trusts and other segments.

Whether in Singapore, Malaysia or further afield, UOB Private Bank is guided by three overriding principles. One is the vital importance of asset allocation choices, which drives long-term return and risks of a portfolio. The senior team directs relationship managers to ensure client portfolios are guided by appropriate asset allocation frameworks, consistent with long-term financial objectives and proper risk assessments.

Another is to never take diversification for granted. This has been particularly true during chaotic times, with energy markets and interest rate gyrations impacting even the most careful of portfolio structures, making diversifying ever more urgent. UOB strongly believes that clients should invest globally, across various asset classes and sectors.

The third principle is to ensure superior and sustainable returns in the long run by focusing on value and quality.

Neo’s point is that chasing prices and buying overvalued investments negatively impact portfolio performance. Taking a long-term view is important for investment success. So is thinking regionally, as UOB’s success demonstrates.