A dedicated Global South Asian Business (GSAB) team at Emirates NBD Private Banking (ENBD PB), backed up with effective offshore capabilities, global branches and good digital offerings and technology, has allowed the Dubai-headquartered, UAE, bank to win the Outstanding NRI Global Indians Offering at the virtually-held Private Banker International (PBI): Global Wealth Summit & Awards 2020.

ENBD PB boasts of one of the largest GSAB teams in the Middle-east and North Africa (MENA) region, which in this case also spans to include East Africa, as there is a three-member team that covers the South Asian community in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. These countries have significant Non-resident Indian (NRI) populations and opportunities. The GSAB team comprises of:

  • 13 Relationship Managers (RMs)
  • & four Investment Advisors.

The GSAB clients contribute 32% of the entire private banking (PB) client base at the bank. It’s a key target market for the private bank as it is the largest expatriate population in the UAE.

The team work on a dual coverage model that means clients from the Indian Subcontinent based within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), or in the wider region, can be served locally or they can access global PB offshore centres located in Singapore, India and London, UK. These offer the personal touch or remote connections and provide high-end real estate options or Asia-specific market exposures. The Mumbai office also provides high yielding deposits and transfer capabilities.

GSAB client preferences in the recent past have been directed primarily towards income generating fixed income vehicles, such as mutual funds and bonds, along with some allocation into equities. Other product and service offerings include tactical solutions, such as:

  • A leveraged Foreign Currency Non-Repatriable (FCNR) deposit with Indian banks: This has proved popular recently as it provides an enhanced AED/USD based currency return to NRI clients.
  • Best execution: services are enabled via execution desks in Dubai and Singapore that give access to listed capital markets and over-the-counter (OTC) instruments around the world. A team of specialist traders offers coverage from the opening of Asian markets until the US market closure, six days a week, 21 hours a day. They are skilled in utilising global dark pool and algorithmic trading techniques to ensure clients get the best execution possible and access to ‘follow the sun’ operations.
  • Trust and Wealth Structuring: services include advice on succession planning, trusts, and liquidity to ensure that the next generation is fully equipped to manage their personal wealth. Implementation is carried out through a Jersey (Channel Islands) trust centre.

Digital technology

The ENBD PB GSAB offer is backed up by technology, specifically an international PB platform that allows NRI clients to talk with advisors around the bank’s coverage network, and to remotely bank with the firm across the MENA, Asia and Europe areas, as required.

Digitisation is evident, on-going and demonstrated by the recent rollout of a tablet-based financial planning initiative that gives RMs a cockpit view of all of their clients' assets and liabilities, enabling them to engage more efficiently in real-time with clients. Features such as ready-made reports on portfolio deviations also allow advisors to increase client engagement and drive advisory trades.

Client instructions can easily be received electronically, if preferred, allowing quick, paperless transactions and straight-through processing (STP). The bank’s digital capabilities also support simpler on-boarding procedures and documentation, plus the automation of the trading system.

Innovative features have also been added to the bank’s mobile app, such as enabling investment transactions while on the move, mainly in mutual funds and bonds. An investment portfolio widget also allows users to open, view, and manage their assets, as well as contact their RM and advisory team from within the app.

All these initiatives have helped digital adoption to grow, with 55% of ENBD PB customers digitally active every month, with an 11% rise evident in Q1 2020.

A concierge based online ordering platform called ‘Moments of Delight’ means elite clients can easily access lifestyle and fine dining experiences, driving engagement.

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The Private Banker International Global Wealth Awards is an annual platform that celebrates the most impressive and successful initiatives from private banks and wealth management companies who have deployed market leading, disruptive approaches to deliver globally recognized, industry changing strategies and products.

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