Chinese independent financial adviser Noah Wealth Management has teamed up with Swiss private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) in a bid to grow its capabilities in global research and product design.
It comes as Chinese affluent clients’ demand for global allocation has grown stronger than expected this year.
The Shanghai-based IFA announced a strategic cooperation with UBP last Thursday (July 30), as a part of an expansion of its Hong Kong platform.
“The Hong Kong platform’s growth is beyond our expectations, so we aim to build a stronger team in the city,” said Kenny Lam, Noah’s president. Sales on Noah’s Hong Kong platform reached Rmb3.10 billion ($500 million) in the first three months of this year, surpassing a total of Rmb3 billion for the whole of 2014, he added.
Lam said that two capabilities - discretionary management and investment research - were important for the firm’s expansion.
“UBP has strong capabilities in global investment research and hedge funds, so this cooperation will enable us to access their databases and contacts. Our researchers can also access UBP’s valuable hedge fund platform which contains track records of ten of thousands of global hedge fund managers,” Lam said.
UBP, which has assets under management of $100 billion, plans to offer its fund of hedge fund and alternatives products via Noah’s Hong Kong platform, and will form an exclusive partnership between the firms in China.
“We trust we have the right investment solutions for Chinese high-net-worth individuals,” said Nicolas Faller, co-CEO at UBP Asset Management. The bank told AsianInvestor in April about its plan to seek partnerships in Asia.
It comes after Noah formed a partnership with McKinley Capital, the US-based investment firm owned by Alaska’s Gillam family, in early July. The high-net-worth-focused IFA aims to build its offshore family office solutions with global capabilities in discretionary asset management, while McKinley will send a team to be based in Noah’s Hong Kong office to build the investment process and approach.
Noah has 75,000 HNW and enterprise clients, and a total of 834 financial planners with 112 branches across 64 cities in China as of the end of March. It owns Shanghai-based Gopher Asset Management, a private fund company specialising in private equity, real estate investments and onshore hedge strategies with a total of $9.4 billion in AUM as of the end of March.
The Hong Kong subsidiary was set up in 2011 to service clients’ needs for global exposure. Noah aims to build a 100-strong team in Hong Kong by November, up from its current headcount of 70, Lam added.
Nearly 95% of Noah’s clients are mainland investors, but Lam said these Chinese HNWIs have developed a stronger appetite for global allocation amid renminbi depreciation against the dollar amid a volatile onshore equity market, and they are also looking for liquid products with stable return.