The Singapore chief executive of Malaysia’s Maybank Asset Management has resigned after three years at the helm to launch a new venture in the wealth management space.
Goh Seng Kee, whose last day will be October 30, told AsianInvestor: “The timing is appropriate to start something on my own … and I suspect the window of opportunity for what I am trying to do may be over in the next 12-18 months.
“The area that I am looking at is in the distribution space but the focus is a bit different from others,” he added. “But I am hoping that it can become disruptive.” He declined to give further details until the firm is operational.
Maybank AM has chosen Goh’s replacement but declined to name the executive as the appointment is awaiting regulatory approval.
It has been a growing trend in recent years for experienced asset and wealth management executives to strike out on their own. One recent example is Stephan Repkow, who left UBP in June to launch an independent wealth platform in Singapore, as reported.
Factors driving such moves include increasingly fierce competition, tighter regulations and much-reduced profitability in the private banking industry. Financial technology is also having an impact, by lowering barriers to entry into product distribution.
Moreover, a rising number of wealthy clients in Asia is making use of external asset managers and multi-family offices, which purpose to offer more independent advice than large banks.
Goh had launched Maybank AM’s funds business in Singapore in 2014. He was working towards launching two funds for passporting into Malaysia and Thailand under the Asean Collective Investment Scheme, as reported.
He had joined the firm in Singapore in 2012 from BNP Paribas Asset Management, where he was a director and portfolio manager. Goh is a fixed income specialist and started his career in asset management at Fischer Francis Trees & Watts. He has worked in investments for 14 years.