in the news

    Interview with Maurice Troesch on Lombard Odier’s External Asset Manager business in Asia-Pacific

    Supporting clients in uncertain times

    This article was published on Finews on 15 October 2021

    Lombard Odier created a dedicated External Asset Manager (EAM) department over 30 years ago, when Patrick Odier saw a need in the independent wealth management industry for a bespoke service offering for the intermediary partners. Lombard Odier's APAC Head of EAM based in Singapore, Maurice Troesch, tells us more about the bank's EAM business in APAC, as well as his take on the industry prospects amidst the increasingly competitive EAM landscape.


    Can you give us a brief introduction of the Lombard Odier's EAM business in APAC?

    Maurice Troesch: Lombard Odier's EAM business in APAC has seen steady growth over the past 5 years, with AUM levels more than doubled and revenues increased and improved in quality – the result of long-term partnerships built based on excellence, trust and performance.

    Our APAC team offers a single-point access for our EAM partners to reach a variety of specialists and to leverage on our unique service offering globally – including wealth planning expertise, global custody services and investment-related solutions. We have dedicated EAM teams across nine booking centres worldwide. The Singapore EAM team is well equipped and integrated within the global network to serve its EAM partners in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. There is robust support from a language point of view, with Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay, German, French and English spoken by the local team.


    What makes Lombard Odier's EAM business uniquely different amidst the competitive landscape?

    Maurice Troesch: Every bank has its different set-up, strategy, capabilities and risk-appetite which ultimately transcends in the form of its service offering. We provide the best of both worlds – a rock-solid innovative private banking partner that empowers its intermediary partners and unbiased, client-centric advice for the long term.

    We provide the best of both worlds – a rock-solid innovative private banking partner that empowers its intermediary partners and unbiased, client-centric advice for the long term

    As a pure-play private bank with 225 years of history, we attract EAM partners looking for a long-term partner with a solid balance sheet, that can tailor its offering based on needs. We remained privately owned for 7 generations, ensuring the bank's independence from the market pressures, keeping core interests between the custodian bank and EAM partners aligned – wealth preservation over generations.

    As a boutique bank run by 6 entrepreneurs as managing partners, including the bank's stewards in the 7th generation, the innovative spirt is lived anytime, everywhere – a characteristic we share with our EAM partners. This ability to adapt quickly and rethink everything is highly necessary in todays' fast moving and competitive environment.

    Like every entrepreneurial family building its legacy, caution is required when growing the business. For Lombard Odier, this means not wanting to grow at simply any cost. A prudent approach is taken when selecting new clients, while leverage levels tend to be below market average investment-wise. The bank saw large inflows across all booking centres at the pandemic's peak, particularly in Singapore, where clients fled to safe-haven banks like Lombard Odier.

    Read more about how Lombard Odier support clients in uncertain times


    How do firms employ our EAM services to provide access to the APAC markets?

    Maurice Troesch: Our EAM partners value Lombard Odier's open architecture platform – to invest into investment solutions they deem fit best for their clients, a crucial element for our EAM partners to be a true unbiased wealth advisor.

    Our G2 portfolio management system allows EAM partners to manage their clients' portfolios fully autonomously. It is our “Swiss army knife” of private banking tools, available free-of-charge, empowering our EAMs to trade, analyse, report and consolidate all the bankable assets of their clients at ease. It provides the transparency that is pivotal in this industry and ensures better alignment with clients' interest.

    It is our “Swiss army knife” of private banking tools, available free-of-charge, empowering our EAMs to trade, analyse, report and consolidate all the bankable assets of their clients at ease

    Clients of our EAM partners can access our MyLO e-banking platform on computer, tablet or smartphone via a highly secure authentication method. This digital interface, developed in close consultation with clients and bankers, is a cutting-edge technology for viewing of clients' portfolios, created to meet their evolving needs.

    Our EAMs have the benefit of a single advisor to manage their needs in conjunction with our specialist departments, particularly in our family services expertise in wealth planning, family governance, philanthropy and NextGen offerings. We are also focused on sustainable investments, backed by our robust sustainable investment framework, capabilities and stewardship.


    In particular, has Covid-19 disrupted the industry? How has Lombard Odier supported their clients over the past year?

    Maurice Troesch: The global pandemic has let a deep impact especially on an industry that is built on trust, often requiring face-to-face interactions. This is especially true for Asia with its high-context culture.

    While our existing EAM partnerships did not suffer too much, it was a challenge with new client acquisitions due to travel restrictions. Lombard Odier made huge efforts in retaining a close connection to its partners and clients through a further push in digitalisation of banking services, webinars and individual video calls. The end-client banking solution MyLO is getting a revamp that will greatly benefit all private banking clients.

    For the bank's EAM partners, our G2 portfolio management system has been at their disposal 24/7 for more than 10 years, which allows them to manage their clients' portfolios autonomously. A truly advanced IT solution is always a work-in-process and Lombard Odier will be launching its new era platform – the “GX”.

    Read more about planning for family succession


    How would you describe the EAM landscape in Asia? Why do you think it has grown in demand and popularity?

    Maurice Troesch: Hong Kong is more of Asia's asset management epicenter while Singapore led as a wealth management hub where clients preferably parked their money. It is then natural to see more single- and multi-family offices laying their foundations in the lion city known for its business friendly environment and political stability. Some EAMs with HQ in Hong Kong have established a second presence here, to hedge their risk and for proximity to their client's money.

    The EAM industry has seen healthy growth in APAC over the past decade, partly attributed to the growing level of sophistication of wealthy families, whose needs have extended beyond the rigid framework of most universal banks. Legislative support is also important – a financial market place is only sustainable if regulated well. Singapore, for example, has made tremendous efforts to attract further wealth by deploying various incentive schemes that have helped to grow the independent wealth management cluster.

    The value-added quality of an EAM is predominantly founded in its auxiliary services such as wealth and succession planning and asset structuring. This stewardship of present and future generations' total wealth is what makes the EAM offering so compelling to HNW and UHNW clients.

    Important information

    This is a marketing communication issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”).
    It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a marketing communication.
    Read more.