While traditional markets in Europe are still very important to us, in the coming years we will be seeing the majority of our growth coming out of the emerging markets: eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia. In 2006 we opened two offices in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore) as well as an office in Buenos Aires and are also looking at further projects in these growth regions. In the next five years, about a quarter of our assets under management should be coming from these growth regions. Nevertheless, we are not neglecting the markets that are traditionally our strongest. During this past year we have also opened four offices in Germany for onshore clients in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Hamburg and one in western Switzerland, in the attractive tourist region of Crans Montana.
François Debiesse, global head of BNP Paribas Private Banking
BNP Paribas Private Banking is actively growing in its different markets. In Europe, we benefit from our leading position in France and our ongoing merger with BNL in Italy. We are also developing a strong franchise in other European markets, such as Spain, Belgium or the Netherlands, in addition to our long-standing presence in Switzerland and the other key European centres for international private banking. Outside Europe, our Asian activity is growing at remarkable rates, thanks to significant recruitments in Hong Kong and Singapore combined with onshore initiatives in India, mainland China and Taiwan. The Middle East is also a key growth area, with a considerable extension of our local coverage of the region.
Raoul Weil, head of wealth management international and member of the group executive board, UBS
We focus on the largest and fastest-growing markets, such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, the US, Latin America and the Middle East. We also consider countries with big private wealth concentrations but low UBS presence such as Japan. In the US we are focusing on ultra-high-net-worth individuals and on establishing a holistic wealth management offering. In Europe we want to maintain growth momentum and are focusing on achieving home status in our core markets of Germany, the UK, Italy, France and Spain. In Asia Pacific we are focusing on accelerating our growth and building up of our domestic business.
Michael Lagopoulos, president & CEO, global private banking, Royal Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Canada is growing rapidly in regions where we have a competitive advantage based on our Canadian heritage and the strength of our reputation. In the past year we made two acquisitions to bolster our presence in the British Isles and the US. Clearly those are two of our key regions for the future. Over the last 12 months, we have doubled the size of our business in Latin America and Asia, so they are increasingly important for us, as is Switzerland, which continues to grow quickly, with clients coming in from around the world. In the past year, we increased our team of client-facing professionals all over the world by 20%.
Walter Berchtold, CEO private banking, Credit Suisse
Our objective is to grow the international business, both onshore and offshore, in general. In particular we want to further build our existing strong franchises in Asia and western Europe, with a special focus on Germany, eastern Europe, Middle East, Brazil and the US. While the offshore business continues to play an important role, there is a strong trend towards onshore business. Over the last 18 months, Credit Suisse opened 14 service locations in the following cities: St Petersburg, Moscow, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Mumbai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Sydney, Melbourne, São Paulo, Rye Brook (US) and Irvine (US). We also want to grow in our Swiss home market in which we have achieved very good results this year.