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Asset Management / Wealth Management
DBS to re-energize wealth unit in Thailand
Securities arm recruiting more bankers to cater to country’s growing UHNWI population
Patricia Chiu 28 Feb 2024

Singapore-based DBS is ramping up its foray into Thailand’s wealth management sector, nearly five years after the pandemic derailed its expansion plans in the country. 

Sim Lim, chairman of DBS Vickers Securities, says the company is reinforcing its commitment to Thailand with plans to recruit more seasoned bankers in an effort to cater to the country’s growing population of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). 

In 2019, Lim, who was then group head of wealth management and consumer banking at DBS, said the company was aiming to double its wealth AUM in Thailand from S$4 billion (US$2.97 billion) to S$8 billion by 2023.

It was also in 2019 that DBS Bank announced a partnership between DBS PrivateBank and DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand). However, plans stalled when Covid-19 broke out.

Thailand has a fast-growing HNWI population. According to research service Statista, Thailand had approximately 125,400 millionaires in 2021, with the number expected to rise to 162,500 by 2026. Thailand also had nearly 1,300 ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) in 2021.

Lim says DBS Vickers will focus on strengthening its services for UHNWIs while introducing a hybrid robo-advisory tool called digiPortfolio.

The investment tool, set to be launched in Q2 2024, will allow Thai investors to invest in both domestic and offshore products for a minimum investment amount of S$1,000.

In Singapore, investors using the digitPortfolio platform are able to invest in different kinds of securities, including stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds, and Lim says he hopes the platform will be similarly successful in Thailand.

However, while the company is seeking to expand its wealth business, it has also started to scale down its brokerage operations, cutting about 42% of the brokerage department. The department will be left with about 160 employees from a high of 280. 

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