Antonio Simoes
Antonio Simoes Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Rapid wealth generation in emerging markets is lifting many consumers into the middle classes and supporting domestic growth, in turn creating opportunities for wealth creation for entrepreneurs many of who are private banking clients, said Antonio Simoes, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Global Private Banking in a recent interview.

“Technological innovation is another area of rapid wealth creation, and we believe many of our next generation clients will come from this area,” he said.

While markets have been volatile since last year, Simoes said HSBC Private Banking retains a constructive outlook over the medium term, especially on emerging markets, as the economic fundamentals continue to be healthy in most parts of the world, including the Middle East.

“Over the last three years we have consistently grown our adjusted profit before tax. In the coming years we aim to triple our pre-tax profit, based on our expected revenue and client asset growth and our investment in cutting-edge technology,” he said.

Much of HSBC Private Banking’s growth is expected to come from continued global collaboration with other parts of HSBC. Last year almost 60 per cent of the private bank’s net new money came from intra-group referrals, and one in three new clients was introduced by the corporate bank.

“We will also deliver growth thanks to our strategic exposure to the world’s fastest-growing markets. We are strongly positioned in Asia-Pacific, where regional wealth is estimated to grow at 12 per cent per annum, as well as Mena where the number of high net worth individuals is expected to increase substantially in the coming years,” he said.

Last year the private bank recruited more than 100 employees globally. In the UAE, it is looking to increase our private banking team by about 20 per cent every year until 2022, including relationship managers, investment advisers and wealth planners.

New money

In the first quarter of this year HSBC’s private banking business grew strongly, as it attracted over $10bn of Net New Money — more than the whole of 2018 and the best result since we started reporting quarterly flows in 2011.

As part of its growth strategy, the bank continues to make substantial investments in technology to support growth and improve the client experience. “This year we launched a new advisory proposition based on BlackRock’s Aladdin Wealth Platform. This technology enables our investment counsellors to look at risk in client portfolios in a much more accurate way. We are also working on a new digital offering for clients and continue to invest in our infrastructure. In parallel, we are making it easier for clients to bank with us and continue to refresh our suite of investment products and services,” said Simoes.

Antonio Simoes is presently Chief Executive Officer, Global Private Banking. He was appointed in January 2019. He is also a member of the Group Management Board, HSBC’s Group Executive Committee. Before his current position Mr Simoes was the Chief Executive of HSBC Bank plc, with responsibility for the UK and Continental Europe, from September 2015. Simoes joined HSBC in September 2007 as Group Head of Strategy, reporting to the Group Chairman. Simoes holds an MBA with honours from Columbia University.