Deutsche Bank wealth arm targets Asia super-rich

Deutsche Bank Wealth Management is hiring 100 client managers around the world in an attempt to bolster its access to the super-rich, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

The wealth management arm of Deutsche Bank is also to invest a further €65m in “digital capabilities”, such as portfolio health checks and customised market news, that would reflect “new demographics in the business”, the bank said.

“We have many clients who are asking to interact with us on a less physical basis,” said Fabrizio Campelli, global head of wealth management. “They want to access their online banking or their portfolio analysis through technology. Changing demographics is bringing about fundamental changes.”

Deutsche Bank moved in 2015 to separate its asset management and wealth management divisions, establishing Deutsche Bank Wealth Management as a standalone part of its private and business clients arm. Mr Campelli was moved internally to head the new group.

The new managers would be targeted to regions around the world, he said, with a focus on wealthy people and families predominantly in Asia-Pacific, entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals in the US, and the super-rich in the UK and Middle East as part of the Emea region.

“In each region we will have a more nuanced approach to the market,” Mr Campelli said.

Analysts said the move was part of a growing confidence in wealth management businesses globally as the super-rich, particularly in Asia, increased their assets.

“In terms of wealth creation, there is a significant amount especially in Asia where the number of middle classes is increasing, as is the number of ultra-high net worths,” Shailesh Raikundlia, banks and specialist financials analyst at Panmure Gordon. “That’s where the real growth is.”

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He also dismissed any concerns about the health of parent Deustche Bank, which has faced questions over its future in the past few years. “Deutsche means Germany, effectively, so there is a sense that there is an implicit government guarantee that they will always be bailed out,” Mr Raikundlia said.

Paul McGinnis, financial equity analyst at Shore Capital, cited the rising markets as underpinning the growing demand for wealth management services. “The assets have expanded quite materially,” he said. “It’s hugely profitable for them, and the assets in the wealth managers are incredibly sticky.”

Sebastian Dovey, co-founder of Scorpio Partnership, a wealth management consultancy, said wealth managers and private banks faced a challenge ensuring client demands were met, particularly in terms of online services.

“Having an edge in the business today is no longer about product competency,” he said. “It is all about establishing a better level of client engagement. If the engagement is not good enough the business goes elsewhere.”