Former UBP Asia Boss Starts His Own Business

Stephan Repkow had it all as Asia-boss at Union Bancaire Privée: a job with prestige, interesting tasks and a great salary. The Frenchman chose a different path for his career, one that quite a few of his peers in Asia are taking. Repkow is founding his own wealth management platform.

Stephan Repkow (pictured) left Geneva-based UBP in March, as reported. His future plans weren't made public then.

Now they are. «AsianInvestor» today reported that Repkow is about to launch his wealth management platform «Wealth Management Alliance (WMA)» in Singapore. WMA is privately held and has a handful of employees. A website is under construction.

Asset Management for the Rich

On Linkedin, the professional network, WMA already has a small company profile. Repkow aims to offer an independent and integrated wealth management platform for external asset managers and family offices.

The platform is designed as an alliance between likeminded private bankers and asset managers. It will manage assets of rich clients, offering complete transparency over costs and interests, according to the Linkedin profile.

One of Many

Repkow is one of many private bankers, ending their careers at the big players in the financial industry to start their own or join one of the booming Asian family offices. They tend to be fed up with overregulated procedures and feel trapped by increasing conflicts of interest, as reported recently.

Others prefer a job at a smaller company, for instance at independent asset managers or private banks. Only last week, Derrick Christian Van Vught left Geneva-based Pictet to start at a family office in Hong Kong.

Plenty of Room for Startups

The market for independent wealth managers in Asia seems to be in development still, while private banking has become exceedingly competitive. Indepedent wealth managers have a market share of 2.5 percent of private banking assets in Hong Kong, according to a study by Bank Julius Baer and the Institute of Management in Asia (SGI-HSG). The same rate is 4 percent in Singapore and about 15 percent in Switzerland.

These figures are incentive enough for seasoned private bankers such as Repkow to leave a safe career to start their own business.

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