Sunday,14 July 2024

Maybank Singapore to lead regional wealth management business with value

5 min read

Interviewed By Foo Boon Ping

Alvin Lee, CEO of Maybank Singapore, discussed the bank’s strategic initiatives, its role as a regional hub, and the importance of a value-driven approach to wealth management.

Appointed CEO of Maybank Singapore in January 2024, Alvin Lee is leading the bank with a clear vision for its wealth management business. During a wide-ranging interview, he emphasised the increasing demand for wealth management services in the region due to rising affluence and globalisation.

“Asia and ASEAN have seen significant growth, making wealth management a logical focus for us,” he noted. Singapore, with its conducive infrastructure and tax regimes, serves as the ideal hub for Maybank’s regional wealth management operations.

Lee outlined the strategy for strengthening Maybank’s presence in the Malaysia-Singapore corridor and beyond, focusing on comprehensive products, consistent positive returns, and exceptional service. He stressed the importance of a strong IT platform and the role of talented, skilled professionals in delivering these services. “Banking, especially wealth management, is still very much a people business,” Lee stated.

Maybank’s wealth management business is built around five pillars: creation, accumulation, preservation, purification, and distribution, aligning with both conventional and Islamic wealth management needs. Lee believes that service quality differentiates one bank from another, stating: “Products and solutions can be easily replicated, but a strong service and talent development culture sets us apart.”

Under Lee’s leadership, digitalisation is a key focus. He highlighted initiatives such as goal-based investing platforms and enhanced regional payment connectivity. “Digital adoption is crucial for future-proofing our services,” he explained. Maybank Singapore is leading some of these initiatives, leveraging capabilities across different countries to provide comprehensive digital solutions.

Lee is committed to integrating sustainability and ethical investment practices into Maybank Singapore’s operations. “We must do the right thing by our customers and stakeholders,” he said. The bank’s initiatives include providing sustainable finance, helping underprivileged households, achieving carbon neutrality, and promoting voluntarism. Lee’s personal dedication to these values is evident, as he encourages his colleagues to actively participate in community service.

As he discussed the challenges Maybank faces, Lee acknowledged the competitive landscape for attracting and retaining talent, adhering to regulatory requirements, and adopting new technologies. However, he remains optimistic about the opportunities for growth. “We are driven by what we need to do to serve our customers better,” he affirmed, highlighting potential partnerships and acquisitions to accelerate progress.

Looking ahead, Lee envisions Maybank Singapore continuing to play an important role in the region. The bank aims to increase its contribution to the group’s profits, emphasising the importance of serving customers well and operating as a regional hub.

Reflecting on his first six months as CEO, Lee shared: “It’s been a very enriching experience. My goal is to execute the group’s strategy and vision, ensuring Maybank Singapore’s strong performance and contribution to the group’s overall success.”

As the bank continues to navigate the evolving economic, financial and geopolitical landscape in ASEAN, and seeks to leverage its network and presence in all the 10 member markets, it remains well-positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities and deliver comprehensive wealth management solutions to its clients.

Categories: Wealth Management
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