LGT launches wealth business in Thailand

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Other foreign private banks have also taken advantage of the growing wealth in Thailand.

LGT, the international private banking and asset management group owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein, has launched a wealth management business in Thailand, according to a statement from the firm.

LGT’s subsidiary in Thailand will be known as LGT Securities (Thailand) and is based in Bangkok. This month, it obtained securities and derivatives broker licences, according to records from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

With the establishment of the Bangkok business, LGT will offer investment and wealth management services to high net worth individuals and corporations in the country, the statement said.

The Bangkok office now has 10 employees, which include investment consultants and planners, according to the firm. Leading the Bangkok business is CEO Ekkapob Makeguljai, who just recently joined the firm from Krunthai Bank, where he was executive vice president.

LGT manages around $207.5bn in assets globally, in which $60bn is sourced from Asia, according to the statement. In 2016, LGT bought ABN Amro’s private banking operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, which totalled $20bn at the time.

A growing market

With offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, LGT believes that Thailand will be a key part of its Asia growth strategy.

Thailand had double-digit growth in terms of HNW wealth and population in 2017. HNW wealth grew 14.7% to $629.6bn during the year, while HNW population increased 13.6% to 122,520, according to latest data from Capgemini.

“Thailand is a rapidly growing market with extremely interesting development opportunities. Through the establishment of LGT Securities (Thailand), we will be able to continue to grow our presence within Asia,” the firm said.

A number of foreign private banks have started to take advantage of the growing wealth in Thailand.

Like LGT, Credit Suisse set up its wealth management team in Thailand in 2016 through its securities entity, Credit Suisse Securities (Thailand), according to a statement from the firm at the time.

Meanwhile, other firms preferred to take the partnership route.

In March last year, Julius Baer and Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank signed an agreement that intends to establish a strategic joint venture that will focus on the growing Thai private banking market, according to a joint statement at the time.

Similarly, Lombard Odier established a partnership with Bangkok-based Kasikornbank in 2014, in which it manages global investment funds on behalf of Kasikornbank’s private clients.

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