The volatility of the global equity market since the beginning of the year led to the launch of the advisory service, which aims to offer products that generate high yield. The firm said it targets investors with moderate to aggressive risk tolerance.
“Although a similar service is already provided by private banks, high net worth clients are still underserved. This is due to the high minimum threshold of total investable assets or balance in [a client’s] assets under management required by the private banks,” said the firm’s Hong Kong-based spokeswoman.
Kevin Tai, deputy CEO of EBSHK, said in a statement that there is demand from high net worth investors for wealth management services and he believes the advisory service is a significant move that will expand his firm’s wealth management business.
Mainland clients have been one of the major growth drivers for the business, but the advisory is not targeting this group in particular.
“We do see an increasing number of mainland investors having the mindset of managing their wealth properly with professionals instead of engaging in pure speculation in the stock market,” the spokeswoman said.
Mainland wealth managers such as Noah are set up in Hong Kong with similar advisory services for ultra-high net worth and high net worth individuals in Hong Kong. EBSHK said it is confident that with a wider range of product offering including structured products, mutual funds and insurance, the firm could differentiate itself from other players in the market.
Currently, there are approximately 400 investment consultants in EBSHK’s wealth management division. For high net worth clients, they give advice primarily on investing in mutual funds, bonds and structured products, such as equity-linked investments and equity-linked notes. The firm plans to hire more people with private bank experience to join the division.
In addition, the firm said a public listing has been one of its long-term strategies since its acquisition by Everbright Securities in 2015.
EBSHK is jointly owned by Everbright Securities, a state-owned subsidiary of China Everbright Group, and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai.
The firm also operates a securities brokerage, insurance and pension fund businesses. Combining its asset and wealth management businesses, EBSHK manages assets of HK$138bn ($17.58bn).