Alison Birch: The Challenge of Client-focus
The rise of Asian wealth during the recent boom years has also seen the expansion of asset and wealth management services. But Alison Birch, Chief Operating Officer,Suisse TechPartners in Hong Kong explains, the successful ones will be those that engage technology and connectivity to achieve a client-centric focus.
Why did I join Suisse TechPartners?
I have been privileged to have worked in dynamic times and places. I worked in Tokyo during the “bubble economy,” through a period of consolidation of financial institutions and the development of new financial products. I loved being part of the creation of an exciting, new capital market. Since I moved here in 2017 Hong Kong has seen the emergence of new regulations as well as, with the rise in the number of high-net-worth families in Asia, new approaches to asset management and wealth management. As a lifelong learner, I want to work for a company that is at the forefront of providing solutions that meet the needs of these challenging times. With its modern technology and extensive connectivity, Suisse TechPartners offers me a great platform to keep learning while helping our clients maximize their business potential with an innovative portfolio of management solutions.
“The successful financial services firms of the future will thrive by being relentlessly client centric.”
How do I analyse the Asian market right now? Corresponding with the large amounts of wealth created in Asia over the past few decades and the expansion of defined contribution retirement plans, there has been an increase in the number of firms providing financial management and advice. For these firms to survive in a crowded market, they need to deliver stellar financial performance for their clients while meeting increasingly stringent regulatory requirements. They also need to ensure their systems are robust and provide automated connectivity with third parties such as brokers and custodians. The successful financial services firms of the future will thrive by being relentlessly client centric. That means they will need solutions that meet their regulatory, tax and reporting requirements so that they can focus on portfolio management and on providing advice for their clients. What opportunities do I identify for STP in this context? Our growing Hong Kong office is located in the heart of Asia so is well placed to meet the demands of the Asian market. STP is uniquely positioned to be able to serve Asian asset managers, wealth managers and asset servicers whose businesses have grown too large to manage manually or which use a range of separate vendors. Because we are cloud-native, our clients benefit not only from access to the latest technology, but any improvement made to our systems for one client benefits all clients. Our clients find they can streamline many of their internal workflow processes and automate reconciliations with their custodians, which helps them focus their resources on building their clients’ wealth.