Best for ESG investing in Singapore 2023
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AwardsAsia Private Banking Awards

Best for ESG investing in Singapore 2023

DBS Bank

Joseph Poon, DBS Private Bank.jpg
Joseph Poon, DBS Private Bank

DBS Bank’s one-bank approach is helping its private bank to dominate the hottest sectors in an industry that is staging spectacular growth rates.

Take the family office boom that is re-making Singapore’s investment landscape. DBS Private Bank set up its family office business in 2019, but is now winning one in three Singapore family office mandates. In 2022, DBS increased the family office client base by 51% with assets under management of $1.3 billion. The aim now is to achieve 20% growth annually so that family office AUM triple to $10 billion by 2025.

To support this growth, DBS has become partners with third parties who can provide thought leadership on family offices. It named Yvonne Lim as its new head of family offices in October 2022 to sharpen its ultra-high net-worth focus.

Joseph Poon, group head of DBS Private Bank, says that thanks to the bank’s ubiquity in its home market, it is well positioned to capture fast-growing demand for family office structures as the number of HNW and UHNW families swells. That growth will coincide with a big wave of inter-generational wealth transfers that DBS is keen to capture.

Another reason DBS wins three of our Singapore private banking awards is its ambitious digitalization programme.

The bank, which is well-known as a digital banking pioneer, likes to think of itself as cultivating a startup culture and mindset. DBS differs from the global competition thanks to constant efforts to reimagine the end-to-end customer relationship by leveraging data and digital solutions.

DBS Private Bank makes active use of the broader bank’s digibank platform, which is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Some 80% of private bank clients are registered for the service.

In August 2022, DBS introduced LiveBetter on digibank to provide innovative and efficient ways for customers to invest in a wide array of ESG- and sustainability-related funds and exchange-traded funds. The team enhanced the digital platform’s functionality in that relationship managers and independent consultants can build, review and recalibrate client portfolios, allowing them to produce carefully balanced modelled portfolios, with an ESG angle where suitable.

On ESG investing, DBS is an Asian pioneer and a champion. Private banking clients rely on the DBS team to help them integrate ESG principles into core portfolios, scoping out companies that reflect their values, future-proofing investments, and catalyzing positive change.

DBS has a knack for structuring innovative and customized solutions for investors. In 2022, it pulled in a variety of new investment funds, from the Manulife Sustainable Asia Bond Fund and the AB Sustainable Global Thematic Fund to the BNP Climate Change Fund. The team also launched the Decarbonization Private Equity Fund with partners Temasek and BlackRock.

Such impact-driven banking products appeal to the next generation and millennials too. For this set of clients, DBS revived its three-day bespoke Future Leaders programme in 2022 after a two-year hiatus. The workshop touches not just financial investment themes but also explores physical and mental well-being.

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