Vipul Kapur, Managing Director, Head of Private Banking at Mashreq, tells GN Focus how the bank is gearing up for the largest wealth transfer in history.
What is your advice to clients who are looking at wealth preservation and opportunities during periods of market volatility like the current one?
Global markets will remain volatile until the pandemic is contained or an efficient vaccine is developed. As a leading institution, we are committed to providing our clients with valuable knowledge, well researched insights and expertise. Our investment outlook for the second half of the year finds three key themes emanating from the market. The first major theme is that interest rates will remain anchored lower for longer, compelling investors to seek high-yield assets. Higher market volatility will be another major theme amid US-China trade tensions and US presidential elections. Finally, investment in digitisation, e-commerce, healthcare innovation and medical technology will be an enduring theme in the post-pandemic world.
One of the biggest lessons learnt during the pandemic is the importance of protection, and using defensive strategies to secure assets against extreme downturn. The second is risk diversification, ensuring that portfolios are constructed with non-corelated assets and achieve lower drawdown and enhanced stability.
Millennials will be the beneficiaries of the greatest wealth transfer in history over the next few decades. How is Mashreq helping in this transition?
We are on the cusp of the largest wealth transfer in history. It won’t be long before millennials gain control of a more significant share of global assets. Innovative changes have been sweeping the wealth management industry as wealth managers equip themselves to engage with and cater to a whole new breed of investors. These young age investors are digitally savvy, socially connected and demand executable information instantly. They are interested in sustainable investing, passion investments, and socially and environmentally conscious investments, in addition to traditional wealth solutions.
At Mashreq, we have made significant investments in our digital platforms and enhanced our product range and solutions to cater to these new and evolving needs. Our relationship teams are trained to becoming an information partner for our new gen clients.
Legacy planning requires a disciplined approach. What is your advice to clients to approach this?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to generational wealth transfer. Each client is unique and we need to explore what makes sense for them when it comes to legacy planning. Ultimately, wealth transfer is about more than wealth, it’s about family legacy including family values, traditions, and hopes for the future. It’s about passing your beliefs on the role money plays in life, in your family, and in your community. That’s where our role becomes very important to help navigating the intricacies of wealth transfer, as a knowledgeable financial specialist. Our team of financial specialists works closely with each family member to understand their end goals and constructs appropriate solutions to achieve their unique objectives.
Could you tell us how your solutions recognise that each client is unique?
At Mashreq’s private banking division, we define a plan and create personalised solutions that help to meet the ambitions, financial goals and requirements of our private banking clients. By providing access to our dedicated relationship managers, qualified investment and insurance specialists, FX specialists and client service managers, we aim to deliver an exceptional experience throughout the client journey. We offer a wide range of solutions to our private banking clients, whether it is bespoke investment portfolios, insurance products or wealth structuring, legacy planning and lending apart from day-to-day banking needs.
How have you responded to your client needs during these testing times?
We have made significant investments into our comprehensive wealth management offerings by focusing on digital footprint to ensure that our clients can make the most informed decisions more efficiently. Apart from relying on the traditional relationship-based model, we have also evolved into becoming more of an information partner for our clients. Communication channels such as the phone, e-mail, and face-to-face meetings, are not going to become obsolete in wealth management. But there is already a dramatic shift from personal interactions to digitally enabled engagement. During the past few months, many clients have come onboard digitally, and these numbers are only going to increase.
Across Mashreq, there have been major digital developments that have been rolled out for the benefit of clients, as we are always looking for ways to simplify banking for our clients. Within private banking, we have introduced webinars to promote client engagement, video conferencing for our clients, electronic identification of documents and client instructions without compromising on our security controls.