The Banker magazine has named Standard Bank as the best private bank in Nigeria in its Global Private banking award 2020. It said “Standard Bank Wealth and Investment’s geographical footprint extends across Africa and Europe, with offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, Uganda, London and Jersey. The bank offers clients holistic solutions to meet their on- and offshore financial planning needs. These include a comprehensive range of investment products, from execution-only stockbroking to advisory services, and from fund solutions to discretionary asset management. Its wealth management philosophy centres on managing, growing and protecting the generational wealth of its clients and their families. Its value proposition is built around a ‘Wealth Quotient’ concept, designed to identify unique client requirements to cater for every stage of life.
“Building on this concept, the bank has implemented its insight-led ‘Challenger’ sales model, which provides clients with solutions that are directly applicable to them, and unique to their immediate personal and family wealth needs. Ongoing investment in technology has led to the introduction of a number of digital innovations, such as the launch of the My360 app. The app provides a consolidated view of a client’s entire financial life across more than 20,000 global financial institutions, from one touch point. Clients can track and access asset, liability and risk cover regardless of the institution, geography or the insurer where accounts reside,” explains Busola Jejelowo, head, wealth and investment, at Standard Bank in Nigeria. “We have a few more digital innovations in the pipeline which we look forward to rolling out in the near future.”
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, and at the onset of the initial government-led lockdowns, the bank introduced a raft of relief measures for both retail and business clients to assist with mitigating the impacts of the pandemic. “We maintain open lines of communication with our clients and stand ready to assist where necessary,” she adds. Private banks — struggling with a major transition from pure wealth management to a new role encompassing data gathering, analysis and manipulation — are seeing their game plans significantly accelerated by the catalytic Covid-19 crisis. Both spurred on and challenged by Chinese ‘Big Techs’, wealth firms leaving behind traditional high cost, oak-panelled boardroom business are already benefiting from widescale digitalisation during the pandemic. Now banks must move further still to match the needs of ‘next generation’ clients, embracing the social revolution rocking the world’s financial capitals. This is a defining moment for private banks, whose relationship business of personal meetings has quickly transferred to a series of screen interactions. Wealth advisers say cultural changes they expected to play out over years were implemented in a matter of weeks.
“From a client relationship perspective this has been the most universally intensive experience,” says Seb Dovey, judge and co-founder of Scorpio wealth management think- tank. Such moments will be remembered. Clients will value the contacts that have demonstrated empathy and offered clear information amid so much uncertainty. For those that did this well, the relationship will endure for many years to come.”
Our judges of the Global Private Banking Awards for 2020, who worked through entries from 120 banks, have highlighted how even before Covid, private client relationships were migrating to on-screen and digital formats, complementing face to face contact. They have talked about “increased pressure” on banks to recognise what is valuable in the human interaction and what can be delivered without it.
The mistake many banks make is the assumption that by not delivering in person, the relationship will be valued less by the client. “It is not really about the person, it is about the information and how it is accessed. That is the game changer,” asserts Mr Dovey”