Korea's best private bank 2017: Samsung Securities
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Korea's best private bank 2017: Samsung Securities

Samsung Securities

Korea’s private banking world has long been curiously underdeveloped, particularly given that it serves one of the world’s largest economies, not to mention one of the most aspirational and financially literate. 

But a few names stand out in this arena, notably Samsung Securities, which reported an operating profit of Won2.12 billion ($1.95 million) in 2016, and whose vice-president is Jae Kyung Lee. 

The Seoul-based investment bank’s claims to be the nation’s “unmatched” leader in wealth management are hard to dispute. At the end of 2016, according to the firm’s most recent annual report, it had on its books 90,000 customers, each with personal assets of more than $100,000, adding nearly 4,000 new clients over the course of the year.

The investment house, which runs 67 domestic branches and five global offices, including in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo, is expanding its service remit to adapt to the changing needs of its wealthiest clients. It operates three financial centres in the capital Seoul, offering clients expert advice in real estate, taxation, legal matters and, of course, wealth planning, while its Smart Business Unit provides a full range of online and mobile wealth management services. 

And never let it be said that Korea’s banks don’t listen to grievances: Samsung Securities runs what it calls a ‘client healing service’ for any client who wants to vent their spleen about the mis-selling of financial products or dissatisfaction with any aspect of the private banking experience.