Best for investment research in Singapore 2023
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AwardsAsia Private Banking Awards

Best for investment research in Singapore 2023

Credit Suisse

John Woods, Credit Suisse.jpg
John Woods, Credit Suisse

After the financial carnage of the 2020-2022 pandemic, Credit Suisse’s private bankers expect a better market environment this year, beginning in the second half.

As John Woods, Credit Suisse’s Asia Pacific chief investment officer, sees it, this will be a year of two halves. The first is likely to see ample amounts of volatility due to inflation risks, US Federal Reserve tightening and recession risks around the world. As a result, investors need to remain nimble and agile leading into an improving picture in the second half of the year for private bank portfolios.

Investors might want to heed this advice given the track record built by Credit Suisse’s research team in Singapore and in the rest of Asia over the last decade. Credit Suisse’s macro and micro views have generated alpha, or benchmark-beating returns, for clients for six years running.

Within that time frame, markets were hit by myriad events: global pandemic lockdowns; supply chain stumbles snarling international trade; the worst US and Japanese inflation in 40 years; the biggest land conflict in Europe since the Second World War; and a collapse in China’s growth.

Credit Suisse wins our best in investment research award in Singapore for consistently warning clients where risks were festering, and how best to shield portfolio and keep returns positive.

In these six consecutive years of alpha generation, Credit Suisse helped clients to employ three out of four top portfolio strategies. That includes those opting for cautious, balanced, growth and equites-heavy strategies.

One of the bank’s best calls was an early one to be overweight energy. As much of the world was downplaying the odds of Russia invading Ukraine, Woods and his team were quietly advising clients to position for the worst. That returned 34% on a relative basis.

Broader gains on commodities, which Credit Suisse saw coming, resulted in a 35% return. Even as Covid transmission waned in 2022, Credit Suisse prodded clients to go long on healthcare investments – for a 15% relative return.

The private bank’s recommendations on investing in alternatives, such as hedge funds, returned 10%. Its overall alpha outperformance, on a relative basis, was 9% across nine discrete strategies.

The team credits the high quality of the bank’s investment research and its consistent ability to read between the lines in order to lead from the front in Asia’s private banking market.

In 2022, it did so with 49,100 direct research-related client contacts; more than 150 media events in the region; over 350 webinars and conference calls; weekly podcasts that attracted increasing numbers of listeners; and over 540 internal calls and relationship manager events to discuss investment and economic trends. Impressive indeed.

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