Latin America's best bank for wealth management 2020: Credit Suisse

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Credit Suisse wins the award for Latin America’s best bank for wealth management.

Having both on- and offshore perspectives has been crucial for serving wealthy clients in Latin America – especially over the last nine months. Lower interest rates in Brazil and the Covid-19 crisis have focused clients on diversification and safety.

“The volatility experienced in March was challenging, but we have a strong house view to help guide clients’ portfolios,” says Jorge Fernandez Amann, head of international wealth management (IWM) for Latin America. “Thanks to digital tools, we have been able to have hundreds of conference calls with clients to keep them up to date and informed.”

During the peak of market volatility, the bank held video conferences for up to 3,000 people, connecting them with investment specialists, portfolio managers and public figures in Brazil to help them better understand the situation and assess the best options.

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Jorge Fernandez Amann

“There was a period where the real was very low and clients were coming to us to try and understand what to do, relying on our recommendations,” says Eric Cardozo, head of business management and development, IWM Brazil.

Managing complex environments is what Credit Suisse does well. This is helped by a company-wide strategy it strengthened in 2019 with the regionalization of its management structure, devolving decision-making to the regions.

In Brazil and Mexico, clients can use local relationship managers to book assets in the domestic booking centre. In Brazil, Mexico and Chile, Credit Suisse also has advisory offices, where relationship managers serve clients locally but book their assets via an international hub.

That closeness to clients coupled with the bank’s global capabilities result in tailored-made solutions such as a yield-enhanced note for Brazilian clients linked to sovereign credit instruments that attracted R$1 billion in initial funding.

The bank has also been developing its external asset management business. In Latin America, a fast-growing portion of local wealth is being managed by this segment of smaller institutions. To capture that growth Credit Suisse has revamped its dedicated desk covering external asset managers in Latin America, and last year it introduced new coverage teams in Mexico and in the Bahamas.