Growing CRITICAL MASS 16 international private banking What's NewS Issue 2 February 1996 In 1994, international private banking (IPB) was designated as one of the bank's spearheads for growth. Early last year, a strategie, structured approach to growing these activities was launched. How effective has that strategy been? IPB chief Thomas van Rijckevorsel explains this and what ongoing expansion means for his "O organization worldwide. j The structured approach to international private banking was developed by Van Rijckevorsel in conjunction with then- consultant Heinz Zimmer, now head of the bank's Swiss-based IPB operation. It utilized the know-how of account managers in the field to build a prospective cliënt base among existing food and agribusiness corporate clients. Account managers around the world responded enthusiastically because they understood the aim was not only to bring in private-banking clients, but also to provide account managers themselves with an additional product in their range. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT A top quality range of private banking products was seen as crucial to the success of the new strategy. 'But we also wanted that range to be backed with real know how,' says Van Rijckevorsel. 'Our team put in place a solid basic package and since last year we have been continually developing it. Private-banking clients often have very individual needs and you have to be able to accommodate their investment aims and goals. So we have been working hard to ensure our product range is flexible and that our existing distribution channels through the international network can be utilized to the full.' REGIONAL TARGETS However, utilizing existing contacts and channels was only one aspect in the IPB strategy. 'The other was to build critical mass,' Van Rijckevorsel confirms. 'There are a number of ways to do that. But before I go into our expansion, let me first say something about how we are structured. We have opted for a regional approach. That means, for example, that some of our European and all Latin American target markets are worked from Zurich, which has private bankers located in both Brazil and Argentina. The Far Eastern market will be targeted from Singapore and Hong Kong, while Luxembourg will take care of specific types of European clients, and Guernsey will focus on Trust activities.' The bank has recruited 'IPB heavy- weights' to complete the senior management team for the regional offices. They also comprise the policy group in which Heinz Zimmer and new man in Singapore, Christopher Hayes (see box) join Luxembourg's Jean-Pierre van Keymeulen. FOCUSSED MARKETING The reason why IPB is regionally structured is because markets around the world are very different. 'In Latin America, for example, most customers are looking for very safe investments,' Van Rijckevorsel explains. 'In contrast, Asian clients tend to take more risk. If we offer a Taiwanese the kind of basic product - perhaps a three-month, fixed interest deposit - an Argentinian would be looking for, he or she would immediately say: What else have you got? So our product package for specific markets has to be developed where the expertise and know how is located. Once you've done that, you can see if they are "exportable" to other markets.' SHARING IT COMPETENCE Within this regional structure, Luxembourg also has an additional role to play. Is has been designated as IPB's m international IT centre. Luxembourg was™ selected as centre because it is a hub for many private banking activities. 'Alvaro Gonzalez and his team have built up real expertise in working with the state-of-the-

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1996 | | pagina 16