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Bringing all of Maybank’s strengths into a unique proposition

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore5/18/2022 3:17 PM GMT+08  • 9 min read
Bringing all of Maybank’s strengths into a unique proposition
Photo: Maybank Securities
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Maybank Investment Banking Group is Asean’s leading home-grown investment bank with deep connections across the region and full-fledged in-house research and capital markets offerings.

Maybank Investment Banking Group’s strong presence in the region can be credited to its parent company Maybank Group, which is the fourth largest bank in Southeast Asia with total assets exceeding RM888.2 billion ($279.9 billion), according to Maybank’s 2021 annual report.

In a recent interview with The Edge Singapore, Aditya Laroia, chief executive officer, Maybank Securities Singapore, explains: “As Asean’s largest investment banking operation, we believe we have a very compelling proposition. We are well placed to work with many of the international firms and investors looking to expand in this region or regional clients looking to invest internationally. We are also ideally suited as partners for the wealth management community.”

Maybank Securities Singapore has already started the next phase of its plan to cater to the growing demand from the fund- and wealth-management community with its prime brokerage services.

Says Laroia: “The Asian landscape will continue to grow because of the amount of wealth and money in this part of the world. This will then give birth to more funds, family offices and high net worth individuals (HNWI), which in turn, will require prime brokers like us that have a deep understanding in the local space while providing competitive global products.”

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Furthermore, with regulators building a more favourable investing framework, it is no surprise that the region is attractive to investors and also a significant location for financial services firms such as Maybank to capitalise on.

The way Laroia sees it, regulation is a very important facilitator in attracting new funds to launch and set up and this is improving within the region.

“With more of these funds launching, we are going to see a lot more interest come into this region. This was how other markets developed and became a mature environment for servicing the fund and wealth management community. The same growth pattern will take place in Asia,” says Laroia.

As countries in the region set up domestic regulations that support the launch of new funds, Laroia expects an increase in investment opportunities as investors will have a large pool of investment choices to choose from.

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With several countries still developing and emerging, there is still a lot of room in Asia for growth and investors to tap into. Fund managers from the US and European regions too are attracted to this region and Asia is expected to be the next “place to be” to raise capital.

Maybank Securities can also tap into the growing interest in impact investing and ESG-driven investment themes by harnessing the power of the group. Maybank’s goal is to be a regional ESG leader by 2025.

“We have a sizeable team in Singapore. In addition, we can bring huge resources and complementary areas of expertise together from across our organisation for our clients, delivered through both our digital platforms as well as our high touch service model. The flexibility is there,” says Laroia.

Unique wealth management offering

Maybank Securities offers a unique range of wealth management solutions to the ever-evolving market. Today, with several global influences, including the Covid-19 pandemic and tensions between Russia and Ukraine, investors are on their toes and constantly interested in information or products that help them effectively navigate the markets.

James Shekerdemian, Maybank Securities’ new head of prime services in Asia, explains, “In today’s world with increasing wealth and more HNWI arriving in the region, we see a much greater need for multi-asset, multi-market investment opportunities to cater to the new breed of investors. This then creates an environment for more hedge funds and family offices to grow & prosper.”

This is where Maybank prime brokerage is well-positioned to help cater for their needs and be a part of this evolution.

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Shekerdemian explains that a Maybank Prime account is a holistic solution-led relationship that provides an excellent conduit for a client to have access to Maybank Group’s suite of offerings, through a single point of contact.

Maybank Prime meets client needs by bringing together Maybank Group’s investment platforms, product & execution teams, research expertise, market knowledge and deep connections so customers can have the freedom and flexibility to pursue the right solutions to meet their investment goals — at the right time — seamlessly.

“We help our clients access markets and investment opportunities such as IPOs and private equity through high-quality counterparties and underwriting brokers. Clients can move funds from one asset to another conveniently. Our Prime team can help clients manage all this through their single Prime Brokerage account,” adds Shekerdemian.

The beauty of Maybank Prime is that a holistic and asset-agnostic offering is available for clients, with a best-in-class product suite.

“What we focus on at Maybank is our holistic solution-driven model and our ability to offer an all-encompassing Prime platform.

Maybank Prime provides clients with the opportunity to work with a tier-one Asian bank and offers access to all our areas of excellence within the group,” says Shekerdemian. Maybank’s Prime platform allows clients to hold assets in an account and then provides them with an agreed level of financing against those assets. Maybank also allows them access to trade into global markets and delivers key post-trade services at the end of each day. At the same time, its service model provides both expertise and transparency to clients across the platform.

“We have equity finance capabilities to be able to support the longs and shorts of a client’s trading. We are also a derivatives provider to allow our clients to utilise futures, options and other investment products,” explains Shekerdemian, who adds that some clients will also look to Maybank for capital introduction.

While there is a plethora of services on the platform, according to Shekerdemian, its three key pillars are: Execution, Financing and Reporting.

Supporting smaller players

At a time when many prime brokers are scaling back the service provided to smaller funds, Maybank is heading the opposite way by making a strong commitment to supporting them. Being a high-quality counterpart, Maybank’s prime brokerage business was established to provide unparalleled services to small- to mid-sized hedge funds, family offices, and other similar players.

Launched in 2014, Maybank’s prime brokerage has garnered industry awards such as The Best Boutique Prime Broker (Client Services) by HFM Asia Hedge Fund Services Awards. It has very quickly established itself as a boutique prime broker offering bespoke solutions for a wide range of clients and investment firms. Maybank’s prime brokerage is powered by its platform that trades across multiple markets and asset classes, with access to over 40 exchanges globally.

As more new players enter the markets, existing prime brokers who have grown a reputation over time are becoming more selective when starting relationships with newer and smaller hedge funds and family offices.

“At some point, everyone has to play to their strengths and for the big banks, as they get bigger, they prefer to work with larger clients and those more suited to their business model. They start to streamline the clients they want to work with, serving bigger but fewer clients,” explains Laroia.

“As that client segmentation and tiering starts to happen, several small- and mid-tier funds as well as the new entrants, will start to find a capacity gap in the market because those that are providing services are focusing only on a particular segment,” he adds.

Hence, there is a noticeable gap for a Prime Broker to service and partner with these new and upcoming players in the market. This is where Maybank Securities comes in.

“The opportunity we saw was that there was a gap in the market, given the growth that we are seeing in terms of increasing asset under management (AUM), the number of new hedge fund launches, as well as new family offices and HNW individuals. There is a great opportunity for us to focus on the underserved fund management and wealth management community that are not being serviced by the bigger banks, and provide them with the same level of service and coverage because of our size, cross-border connections and breadth of services at our disposal,” says Laroia.

“We have now gone from specialising in just research and execution to include other services such as financing and custody. And we are doing it all globally. We previously were an Asean specialist, but we too have levelled up and can now do it all in a global context,” says Laroia, adding that most incumbents in the space are based in the US or Europe but Maybank is strategically positioned as it is based in Asia and has a strong network and presence in the region.

Today, with its all-encompassing Prime Brokerage platform, Maybank allows its clients to not just work with a tier-1 Asian bank, but also leverage its full range of services outside Prime.

Perfect for the newer and smaller funds as well as the HNWI (high-net-worth individual) community, Maybank Prime boasts competitive pricing and fast account openings. The prime brokerage platform also ensures tailored and flexible solutions for clients and access to both low-touch and high-touch trading and settlement services, so clients have access to information in real-time but still can speak to a Client Service Representative if needed.

Maybank aims to help its clients bridge the gap between them and the opportunities that the Asian region has to offer. “Our clients are becoming more sophisticated about their needs. They want to be able to have relationships where the provider is not a single value proposition. The provider should have the capability to help them across a whole host of needs and value services,” says Laroia.

“The client relationship has shifted from being transactional in nature to taking a much more holistic view of clients and their families plus their long-term plans,” he adds. There are different types of service models to suit different clients. Maybank caters to those who prefer a high-touch approach, a self-directed approach or a hybrid-service model.

Shekerdemian adds: “A prime brokerage relationship with a client is a true partnership and not simply a trading relationship. The client and the prime broker have to be very much aligned on their goals together — this is a very tight relationship and we work very closely with our clients to help provide them with the space to grow.”

For more information on Maybank Securities Prime Brokerage, contact:
Tel: +65 6536 2000
Email: [email protected]

Photo: Maybank Securities

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