Maybank has on-the-ground operations in all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries spanning Vietnam, Thailand and so on, plus its own ‘home’ markets where it is a universal bank offering services in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. Its international network of over 2,600 branches in 18 countries is a useful channel to induct clients to its Private Bank (PB).
It’s been calculated that there is a wide base of high-net-worth (HNW) individuals among its ASEAN and China customers and Maybank Private is aggressively pursuing them. This has won it the Outstanding Private Bank: Southeast Asia trophy at the PBI Global Wealth Summit & Awards 2020.
The regional Southeast Asian growth drive at Maybank has been well rewarded so far. A case in point, the Total Financial Assets (TFA) of its private banking arm have grown rapidly to US$14.2 billion, a CAGR of 30% over a five-year period.
There is still more expansion to come. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Maybank is pursuing it via identifying potential clients at its four Malaysian Private Wealth Centres in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu as well as its onshore booking centres in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Global banking and business banking customers are also potential PB members. Its London office in the United Kingdom acts as a strategic gateway to European markets, offering cross-border financing for overseas mortgages and diversified currency and other trades. Cross-border credit lines are another target area for growth.
Relationship managers (RMs) are adopting a global vision and mindset to focus on cross-selling wealth management across all business segments, so that potential clients may enrol in the private banking segment. RMs are empowered with the capability to book clients in any country they wish, with the help of a 'buddy' RM assigned to them. As a result, clients benefit from having access to a truly regional value proposition. The RMs are recognised for their efforts in referring customers, as well as servicing referred customers, thereby eliminating the 'territorial' mindset. This approach has helped to ensure new assets from existing customers are brought into the bank.
Enhancing the bank’s technological capabilities to unleash growth is also a priority. Its Avaloq Wealth Management System was enhanced in 2019 and further tweaked this year to maximise its potential to better serve clients. It’s now fully integrated across the front-, middle-, and back-office. New asset classes for structured products have also been added, and the mandate for discretionary portfolio managers and alternative asset managers have been enhanced. Some other specific initiatives that have driven growth at the bank include:
- On-boarding Investment Banking clientele who are seeking to tap capital markets via IPOs, private placements and bond issuances into the PB.
- Upgrading top clientele segments comprising Maybank Premier Wealth (priority banking customers) to private banking clients.
- Launching Islamic Private Wealth in 2017 to reach untapped market potential.
Maybank continues its leadership in the Islamic Private Banking space through Maybank Islamic Berhad (MIB), the largest Islamic Finance provider in Malaysia and Asia Pacific as well as one of the top 5 largest Islamic Banks globally by asset size, with total assets of US$59.9 billion as at 31 December 2019.
Maybank’s innovative Shariah-compliant products, such as its targeted General Investment Account (GIA-i) and Islamic dual currency investments, is one of the reasons why Maybank also won a Highly Commended (HC) accolade in the Best Private Bank for Islamic Services category. It also plans to extend Islamic legacy planning solutions and roll out Islamic auto-callable structured products, among other innovations.
The GIA-i alternative to a conventional deposit account is part of a Shariah portfolio that is diversified and certified to adhere to all relevant principles. An enhanced GIA-i 2.0 is imminent with new underlying assets such as marketable securities and a concentration on real estate investment trusts (REIT).
Maybank offers Shariah-compliant unit trust funds from internal fund house, as well as 10 different external houses under its open architecture platform. Two new Islamic unit trust funds with unique underlying and features have been launched:
- Maybank Income Management-i: A fixed income fund with a money market feature that was unveiled on 7 January 2020, and by 10 March this year, it had garnered RM154 million Malaysian Ringgit (US$37 million) in investment.
- Maybank Global Sustainability Equity-i: A global growth fund focused on sustainability that was recently launched this year and hopes to attract funds for green, social, developmental and other such projects.
Maybank Islamic also recently developed a Murabahah Vehicle Term Financing (MVTF) alternative car ownership solution and the Maybank Gold Account-i (MGA-i). This investment account is backed by physical gold bars as a new asset class for investment portfolio diversification.
Maybank plays an active role in the Malaysian Sukuk (Shariah-compliant bonds) industry and has also unveiled a virtual Shariah Centre of Excellence (SCoE) that aims to be the leading reference point on Shariah knowledge and best practice for the sector. A new certification in Islamic Wealth Management (IWM) and Islamic Financial Planning (IFP) is being rolled out to advisors and RMs to further grow the sector.