Brian M. Afuang
April 1, 2019    |    

UnionBank, Lombard Odier Start Private Banking Service

Partnership promises to provide expert wealth management to “ultra high net worth” Filipinos

THE scarcity of a Patek Philippe Nautilus on the market only makes this watch as coveted as some premium services — like private banking.

The correlation was arrived at during casual conservation following the March 28 launch of UnionBank Private Banking service, which operates in partnership with Lombard Odier (Singapore) Ltd. The new program offers customized wealth management, investment solutions and novel digital platforms to Filipino individuals and families with a net worth of at least P100 million.

Now, why specifically target Filipinos? UnionBank president and CEO Edwin R. Bautista said; “We’re bringing expertise on-shore,” noting that changing international regulations means affluent individuals need not have to bring funds abroad.


“Money is flowing back, especially in Asia,” the executive said.

Lombard Odier Asia CEO Vincent Magnenat shared this view; “The future is on-shore. . . needs are local.”

For her part, Lombard Odier Group managing partner Annika Falkengren said; “As individual wealth increases, unique challenges are created. With the launch of this dedicated private banking arm, we will draw on the strength of our partnership to help clients better navigate these challenges,”.

Besides services for individuals, UnionBank Private Banking will also provide succession planning, wealth structuring, and even philanthropy advice to accounts held by families. Relationship managers based in the Philippines will take care of face-to-face banking while an online platform will allow clients easier access to their investment portfolios.


“[The] wealthy still prefers face-to-face interaction — we recognize that. But we will also provide digital [services that are] high-tech yet high-touch,” Bautista said.

The partnership between UnionBank and Swiss private bank Lombard Odier started in 2016; the two entities have been sharing information and conducting skills training on various investment solutions and wealth management expertise since. Magnenat also bared Lombard Odier, like the Aboitiz clan-controlled UnionBank, has been run by the same family for several generations.

Apparently, this familial background is also a key to the private banking service’s focus on succession planning. Bautista said the service is “not about passing on wealth, but ensuring the next generation takes care of this wealth.”

Magnenat added; “Existing wealth and future wealth are here. . . sustainability investment is the first priority.”