Deutsche Bank celebrates its 150th anniversary in Asia Pacific this year. The concept of Wealth Management for entrepreneurs and families has evolved significantly ever since.
Asia Pacific has been central to Deutsche Bank’s strategy from the beginning. Just two years after the bank’s establishment, our global expansion began with our first overseas branches, in Shanghai, China and Yokohama, Japan, in 1872. Before establishing a presence in London, Paris, or New York, the bank was already looking eastward, so the bank’s roots in the region run deep and are an important part of our DNA. It is this region where we first connected European entrepreneurs with markets abroad, and first began facilitating cross-border capital flows to finance the growth of industries, economies, and markets.
150 years of growing together with Asia Pacific
Our footprint in the region spans 14 diverse markets. It is not just the breadth of our network that sets us apart, it is its depth. The longevity of our presence and the unique local insight that comes with it are the reason we have been a trusted partner to our clients here for so many years. From the multinational to the startup, our clients count on us to keep trade, payment, and investment flows moving into, out of, and within the region. We provide the advice and financing so the ambitious can take the next step. We manage local payments and foreign currency transactions. We help develop markets, build businesses, and grow wealth.
A changing wealth landscape in the region
Throughout our long history in Asia Pacific, the wealth management landscape has evolved considerably. The significant wealth creation in the region, particularly in recent decades, has led to a rapid rise and proliferation in client needs, which continue to constantly change.
As the region has developed, so too has the concept of wealth management. Regional conversations have moved from wealth creation, to supporting entrepreneurial needs, to wealth protection, to succession. The growth in family offices in the region is one clear illustration. The number of family offices in Singapore, as an example, quadrupled between 2016-2018, driven by an increasing number of families preparing for an intergenerational wealth transfer.
At the same time, this transfer of wealth to younger generations has resulted in a wider diversity of perspectives, expectations, priorities, and perceptions. “New money” millennials are now joining the ranks of the wealthy, giving rise to a highly diverse client pool that has become more focused on current and social and environmental issues in the context of investment decisions.
Traditional wealth planning methods are giving way to new approaches as technological advances and digital tools have enabled financial advisers in the region to generate better solutions, leverage automation, and achieve greater efficiencies.
The road ahead
In Asia Pacific, many of our markets are highly technology savvy, quick to leapfrog and adopt new technologies, and unburdened by the ‘legacy’ methodologies that may slow innovation in other regions. The future of the wealth management landscape in the industry will be defined by how the industry leverages fintech innovations to generate advanced solutions to address clients’ wealth planning, protection, and growth needs in a highly dynamic environment.
We are very proud to have contributed to the rise of this region, which has done much to power our growth in return. It is here that our past, present, and future meet. Ever-changing, always dynamic, Asia Pacific is helping lead the way for Deutsche Bank’s next 150 years.
This text was originally published in May 2022 in WERTE #25, the client magazine of Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.
Deutsche Bank's offices in Asia Pacific today
From left to right:
- Today, Deutsche Bank’s Tokyo offices are situated in the middle of Japan’s capital – right next to the prime minister’s official residence. They are so close, in fact, that the windows facing the seat of government have to remain permanently closed.
- Deutsche Bank opened its regional head office (RHO) in Singapore in May 1988. This managed and coordinated the business operations of the branches acquired from the former European Asian Bank in 13 Asian countries with over 2,000 employees. The RHO offices in the 52-storey Treasury Building spanned the 19th to 21st floors.
- Deutsche Bank moved into the 140-metre-high South Tower at One Raffles Quay in 2007.
- Deutsche Bank (China) Co., Ltd., a new subsidiary, commenced business in the Huamao building in Beijing’s Chao Yang district at the beginning of 2008.
All images courtesy of Deutsche Bank, Historical Institute.