Simon Cheng is Regional Head of Money Markets & Insurance Collaboration, Asia as well as Head of FX, North Asia, Investments and Wealth Solutions at HSBC Private Banking in Asia. Based in Hong Kong, he has gathered 15 years of invaluable experience across private banking and management consulting in Asia. He offered his considerable experience and his wide-angle perspective to contribute as a key member of our panel of experts at the Hubbis Digital Dialogue event of October 21, a discussion that sought to analyse the state of the HNWI insurance market in Asia. We have summarised some of his valuable insights in this short report.
Simon opened his comments by noting how important a part of the overall HSBC wealth management offering insurance had long been.
“We see this from two major perspectives,” he explained. “First, insurance is central to traditional wealth planning objectives, offering an ideal tool to pass on wealth to next generations, which is not simply about protection particularly in the HNW space. Secondly, this can be viewed as a tool for asset class and jurisdiction diversification missions. Many of our clients are mostly invested in Hong Kong, China or the near region due to home bias, but insurance is a vehicle that can diversify both asset class and geographies.”
Working with the providers
He explained that the solutions are available to satisfy both sets of needs within each of these two perspectives, through external broker and manufacturing partners such as Quilter and Lombard who can provide insurance policies that suit various jurisdictions and tax regimes.
Diversifying exposures and insurance as an asset class
He explained that the bank is continually advising clients that they should be diversifying in terms of their assets. “For example, the China property high yield bond situation in recent months reinforces our view that it is well worth diversifying into different asset classes and geographies,” he told delegates. “Insurance comes in very handy as a tool to diversify and at the same time plays a very important part in terms of wealth planning.”
Boosting the engagement, elevating the conversations
Simon explained that a key mission is to encourage the RMs and advisors at the bank to not forget about insurance, even though they are generally much more knowledgeable in typical investment asset classes.
“There are more and more wealthy people and as they look into these matters, especially proper, robust wealth planning, they see more and more that insurance offers an excellent solution,” he said.
“This is an interesting topic to our clients and we in HSBC Private Banking are trying to equip our …….