1. Newsroom
  2. Sharp increase in funding from Asia clients
Menu
UBP in the press 29.05.2017

Sharp increase in funding from Asia clients

Sharp increase in funding from Asia clients

In an interview with APB Mandates, Brice Thionnet said that UBP's Asian clients have participated in every direct investments deal brought by the Swiss pure play since the completion of its acquisition of Coutts International.


Thionnet said that UBP has seen recent success with private market opportunities involving MedTech, commercial aircraft, student housing and oil concessions.

While declining to provide specifics on asset flows from Asian clients, he did add, that Asian clients’ participation broadly reflected their share of private banking AUM at the Swiss bank. “Across the various deals over the past year, funding from our Asian clients amounted to approximately ten per cent on average, with a sharp increase on the more recent deals,” said Thionnet.

UBP had CHF 92.3 billion in private banking AUM at the end of 2016. Around CHF 12 billion of that total is Asia-based. The pure play completed its acquisition of Coutts International in April last year, effectively boosting its book in the region by 1,424.5% YoY.

According to Thionnet, UBP’s direct investments capabilities proved to be an important string in the bow for the Swiss bank for Asian clients.

Direct investment is a unique proposition in our service offering that has been particularly appealing to the ultra high net-worth clients in Asia, who are looking towards diversification,” shared Thionnet.

However, Thionnet notes that such an offering is not for everyone – but targeted at the most qualified of investors and those who can afford the illiquidity. Such deals tend to be illiquid, and remain so for a number of years. As no one can predict what can happen in the interim, there is a cap on how much each client is able to invest into such assets.

“Our Asian private clients who have made their wealth as entrepreneurs understand and appreciate the ‘tangible’ nature of direct investment opportunities. Real investments are what they deal with in their ‘entrepreneurial day-to-day life’ and they tend to have an intrinsic capability to identify appropriate opportunities to invest in. So it is with a real interest that they participate in such a program that differs from their other financial assets”.

Thionnet explained that the deals offered by his team are in the shorter range of 3-5 years, as clients want to see predictability. “Of course there is room for different deals in different time-spans, but from our perspective, clients have indicated that this is a preferred time-frame - they want a shorter term, and we have seen success from this approach.

“Our task is to identify opportunistic private markets deals and then propose them to our qualified investors” Thionnet said. “It's then up to our clients to decide whether they want to go for it. They have access to the same data that we have”.

UBP currently favours thematic opportunities that are consistent with few global macro-trends among which an ageing population (‘silver economy’) bringing around 5-6 deals a year to the table.

The bank is by no means the only player to have its eye on such opportunities and last year’s flurry of outbound M&A activity by Chinese investors will have only increased the competition (by some estimates, Chinese private equity firms alone recorded US$7.4 billion in offshore transactions in the first half of 2016 although capital control restraints have had since muted activity).

Even so, Thionnet said that the bank’s strong partner network across Europe, its “entrepreneurial DNA”, as well as its focus on under-the-radar opportunities that clients can “understand”, keep it competitive.

For example, the bank recently closed an investment into student housing in continental Europe - particularly in countries that Thionnet says are “untapped markets in that segment. There is always great interest for us to participate to the development of projects that satisfy an obvious undersupply.”

“What we do not do however, are speculative deals. Also, we do not look for opportunities in M&A activity or advice on that” added Thionnet.

While the total value of private equity deal in the Asia Pacific fell to US$92 billion in 2016 from from US$124 billion in the previous year, according to data from Bain & Company, a recent Asian Private Banker survey of private banks, independent asset managers and single family offices, found that asset flows into private markets in 17Q1 increased by as much as 20% YoY, although over half of all respondents said that Asian client demand for direct investments remains ‘fair’.


THIONNET Brice.jpg

Brice Thionnet
Head of Direct Investments Group
 

Newsletter

Sign up to receive UBP’s latest news & investment insights directly in your inbox

Click and enter your email address to subscribe

Investimenti responsabili

Creare valore con investimenti responsabili

Maggiori informazioni sugli investimenti responsabili

Guardate il video

Le news più lette

UBP in the press 14.09.2017

Exclusive interview with Guy de Picciotto

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) - Guy de Picciotto, CEO of Geneva-based bank UBP, believes the financial sector could be at the start of a new era, past problems have been solved, and banks now have the chance to draw on their traditional strengths.

UBP in the press 12.09.2017

Five questions to Norman Villamin

NZZ am Sonntag (10.09.2017) - Interview with Norman Villamin, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Private Banking and Head of Asset Allocation.

UBP in the press 09.10.2017

Active management still popular among investors

Market - With a team of more than 200 professionals, Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has become a top-tier asset manager. UBP focuses on active management and is now a major player in the asset management industry. We spoke to Nicolas Faller, co-CEO of Asset Management at UBP.

Altro da leggere

UBP in the press 25.07.2018

Convertibles sparking investors’ interest

With the entry into an advanced phase of the economic cycle, companies have been looking at convertible bonds with fresh eyes as a valid alternative to traditional debt instruments to finance their growth.

UBP in the press 16.07.2018

Eric Morin covers a lot of ground in his role

cpjobs.com (14.07.2018) - It may not feature on his CV or official job description, but one of Eric Morin’s key skills is the ability to perform an astute balancing act. Doing that, though, has become second nature to him thanks to more than 30 years in finance and wealth management and a knack for managing change, planning adjustments, and taking a studied approach to every new initiative.

UBP in the press 13.07.2018

Markets: overlay strategies are up to today’s challenges

Equity markets still offer attractive investment opportunities, but since the beginning of the year they have seen increased volatility. In these conditions, overlay strategies can be an interesting solution for investors.