Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
A few years ago, domestic and international financial players were chomping at the bit to lure Mrs. Watanabe’s millions of yen or fellow Asians’ yuan, won or dollar holdings from their futons or equal-interest savings accounts.
The global financial crisis in the last year has sparked a rejigging of foreign institutions’ expectations about Asian wealth and their own ability to attract it, with some opting out of the game altogether.
Barclays Asia-Pacific CEO Robert Morrice isn’t letting his rivals’ woes temper enthusiasm.
He says the No.2 British bank will boost staff and its private banking arm, Barclays Wealth, expects to manage $20 billion in Asia outside of Japan by 2012, compared with $10 billion at end of this year.
So when someone talks about the industry being in “meltdown”, it is good to see they are backing up their dramatic views with some dramatic actions.
But according to Sebastian Dovey, managing partner of wealth management consultancy Scorpio Partnership, they need to spend less time moaning about it and more time working with regulators to communicate the benefits of the industry.
“It’s not good enough to sit back and say this is going to cost us,” he says. “We’re here now, we’re in this mess. We’ve got to try and manage our way out of it.