Mapping a growth path for Swiss Asia

In a video interview, Steve Knabl of Swiss Asia explains the firm’s value position, vision and priorities for the year ahead – including attracting more private bankers to its platform.

Swiss Asia strives to offer a seamless platform to wealth managers, as well as clients, via full open architecture, according to Steve Knabl, the firm’s chief operating officer and managing partner.

This includes a panel of 18 custodian banks to work with, and free choice in terms of the types of products to use and the markets in which to operate.

For private bankers, he says there is an all-encompassing service if they want to move out of the private banking industry and become independent. “They come to us either individually or as a group, and can manage their clients within a silo.”

Swiss Asia, he explains, gives these wealth managers access to compliance resources, to research, to investment advice, to 18 custodian banks – the whole structure they need to be able to focus solely on servicing their clients.

At the same time, Swiss Asia has a hedge fund platform, offering investment bankers or portfolio managers who want to set up their own fund, the option for them to do so. “Out of Singapore and Hong Kong, we help them with everything, from setting up the fund to the middle- and back-office administration,” says Knabl. “This is a one-stop shop, which also includes capital introduction events.”

Focused on growth

Looking forward, Knabl says the hedge fund side of the business is in the process of incorporating five new funds that are expected to launch by the end of 2017, including a cryptocurrency fund.

In terms of the wealth management offering, Knabl says the fact that bonus time is approaching, means some private bankers will start talking to Swiss Asia about potentially joining the platform by the middle of 2018. The two main attractions for these bankers are, he explains, a better work-life balance, plus more time to focus on servicing their core clients, rather than top-down pressure to increase AUM.

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