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Asset management: ties that bind
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Asset management: ties that bind

HNWIs, independent asset managers, private banks unite for strength, success in The Bahamas

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The Bahamas Investor Magazine
July 23, 2015
July 23, 2015
Sharon Stuart-Lafleu

The proverbial threefold cord is a symbol of strength and unity, and the lessons that are derived therefrom form the essence of the independent asset managers industry–an industry that is increasingly becoming an important business line of private banks in The Bahamas.

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With a myriad of investment choices available, market uncertainty and an ever-changing political and regulatory environment, high-net- worth individuals (HNWIs) seeking to maintain and grow their wealth alone can become easily overwhelmed. At the same time, significant financial losses may occur if the appropriate guidance is not carefully sought out.

By connecting to an experienced and credible independent asset manager, the individual’s ability to weather the uncertainties, to make informed decisions and ultimately reach their financial goals is substantially strengthened. The two can then connect with a leading private bank, with extensive experience, expertise and a global outreach to further strengthen their position.

The resulting “threefold cord” that unites them can form the basis of a formidable, long-term and mutually successful partnership, in-depth knowledge of the clients, their family circumstances, overall wealth, professional experience and investment knowledge.

They understand their fears, anxieties concerning the future, their hopes and aspirations for their families. This history between the two parties can span many years, with trust, competence and integrity building the defining components of their relationship.

This history is also developed through different circumstances. For instance, many independent asset managers were once employed by financial institutions and then made the leap into financial entrepreneurship, by leveraging the valuable experience gained in servicing their clients for many years.

This invaluable bond between independent asset managers and their clientele has prompted private banks to substantially develop the service and product offering catering to the independent asset management industry.

Strong partner
Entrepreneurship in any venture can be daunting and for the independent financial entrepreneur choosing the right partners is critical to the success of their business.

From the standard custody and safekeeping services to detailed reporting, IT offerings, extensive trading capabilities in all asset classes, tailor-made investment solutions, credit solutions, access to regularly issued research, access to specialists and experts in wealth planning and so on, the bank partner must be able to provide comprehensive support and expertise as financial markets and regulations continue to be in a state of flux today more than ever.

A dedicated EAM organization understands different cultures and speaks the same language.

Furthermore, the independent asset manager, as part of a selected group, is valued as the bank’s partner and provided with the same personalized service afforded to a direct client relationship. Their ambition must be to excel in all aspects so that the independent asset manager can focus exclusively on servicing the complex needs of their clients and further developing their business.

Part of this ambition requires the EAM organization’s members to recognize their value, constantly educate themselves by learning from the best, while displaying a courageous work ethic. This will ultimately enable the organization to do amazing things for independent asset managers and their clients.

Emerging market: Latin America
In recent years, the drastic impact of the financial crisis has forced many in the financial services industry to re-focus on new markets.

Home to expanding economies such as Brazil and Mexico, Latin America offers tremendous growth potential and exciting opportunities. The region’s HNWIs are financially savvy and demand timely, flexible and professional service. While trust is established over time, opportunities will gradually arise. Therefore, any financial services provider must be prepared to provide the desired services upon request in a swift and skillful manner.

For independent asset managers with a Latin American clientele, having a dedicated EAM team located in The Bahamas comes with many advantages: proximity to their clients, to US financial markets and to the vast network that international banks have to offer, just to name a few.

Jewel in the crown
Uncertainty over the financial industry’s future, the economy, and geopolitical developments are ubiquitous. Despite these challenges, many international banks are reaffirming their commitment to The Bahamas by expanding and strengthening their services provided to independent asset managers.

Recently, an industry expert commented during a meeting: “The Bahamas is a jewel that should be valued.” Being born and raised in this country, the idea conveyed a powerful feeling of pride.

In our business we are seeing that The Bahamas is becoming the booking centre of choice for independent asset managers and their clients, presenting a unique alternative. Leveraging on the continuous momentum throughout Latin America, the present growth in the EAM industry is therefore a shining example that The Bahamas is indeed a jewel of the financial services industry.

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