October 2018

EDITORIAL: Move with the times

George_MittonI have often been told by veterans of the wealth management industry that clients will always value the human touch. Online alternatives such as robo-advisers or digital wealth platforms may appeal to some younger investors, these managers concede, but millennials (people aged between roughly 18 and 35) don’t have much money to invest and anyway, once clients reach a certain level of wealth, they demand a human adviser as a matter of course. This attitude is complacent. Yes, millennials today aren’t exactly flush with cash, but they stand to inherit from their parents. Secondly, the services they demand – convenient, on-demand, mobile-based – will become the norm simply as a matter of changing fashions. Don’t believe me? Think of how holidays used to be booked. It was logical for my grandfather to go, in person, to a travel agent to arrange his flights and hotel bookings. Now, everyone I know makes their bookings online using comparison websites such as Skyscanner or Trivago. A generation that is accustomed to ordering a taxi in minutes using Uber is not going to wait for days for an appointment with a wealth manager. Wealth managers simply must adapt to the digitally native generation. As in so many industries these days, China is showing us what the future might look like. George Mitton is editor of Funds Global Asia ©2018 funds global asia

Executive Interviews

INTERVIEW: Giving peace a chance

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As US-China tensions escalated in 2018, the leaders of the two economies met in Buenos Aires to agree a truce. Aidan Yao, senior emerging Asia economist at Axa Investment Managers, talks to Romil...

INTERVIEW: Operational challenges

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Caroline Higgins of Northern Trust tells George Mitton about A-share inclusion, ETF Connect and why Cayman funds predominate in the region.

Roundtables

HONG KONG ROUNDTABLE: A sunny picture

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Changes to regulation, US-Sino trade tensions and further steps by China to open its capital markets were some of the topics discussed by our panel. Chaired by Romil Patel in Hong Kong.

SINGAPORE ROUNDTABLE: Optimism versus caution

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The impact of financial technology, developments in Asian passporting and the promise of new markets in Thailand were among the topics discussed by our panel. Chaired by George Mitton in Singapore.