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Pictet’s Khanna Says Ultra-Wealthy Moving Toward Family Offices

Anuj Khanna, Pictet & Cie.’s chief executive officer for south Asia, comments on ultra-high-net-worth individuals moving funds to family offices from private banks and disgruntled senior bankers in Asia.

Khanna spoke in an interview in Singapore yesterday. Pictet, Switzerland’s largest closely held private bank, manged 268 billion francs ($280 billion) in assets at the end of June.

On family offices:

“Private banking in Asia is at an inflection point. The writing is on the wall and that is that many of the larger clients are questioning the private banking business model. Those who can impact it are voting with their feet.

‘‘Clients with significant wealth are either requesting some of their bankers become independent or they’re setting up their own family offices. The fact that’s happening much faster than ever before is visible to all of us.”

On disgruntled bankers:

“Senior bankers are unhappy. You have senior bankers who have been in the business for 15 or 20 years in Singapore and Hong Kong, being managed on large universal bank platforms, where there are 100 to 200 relationship managers on the same platform.

‘‘To manage a large workforce with experience varying from two years to 20 years, you have to have certain common ground. The unhappiness of senior bankers comes from management burden, bureaucracy, being guided by rules that are framed to manage a large workforce, in addition to set targets.

‘‘If you’re a very senior private banker, you’re asking yourself ‘why do I have to go through all of that’.’’

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