DBS Private Bank sees surging client demand for in-house managed investment products

Singapore.16 Sep 2021

Assets under management for in-house managed investment products jumps to SGD 10 billion in less than three years

Latest additions DBS I.D.E.A. Fund and DBS ESG Focus Note seek to address clients’ need for long-term capital appreciation and income generation respectively

Singapore, 16 Sep 2021 - Buoyant client confidence in DBS Private Bank’s investment views continues to drive surging demand for its in-house managed investment products, with client assets under management (AUM) growing progressively since the launch of the bank’s first such product in 2019. In the past year alone, AUM more than doubled to SGD 10 billion.

This includes two recent additions to the bank’s offering, namely the DBS I.D.E.A Fund and the DBS ESG Focus Note, which collectively raised SGD 550 million since their rollout in July.

Designed by the Chief Investment Office (CIO) and Product Solutions teams, DBS Private Bank’s growing suite of managed investment products reflects the CIO’s high conviction strategies, and aims to play a larger role in the overall construction of portfolios for clients seeking long-term capital appreciation and income generation.

Hou Wey Fook, Chief Investment Officer at DBS Bank, said, “We have been advocating our ‘Barbell’ and ‘I.D.E.A.’ investment strategies to our clients for some time, as a means to identify the potential winners in today’s fast-changing world. Our views have earned their confidence, which led us to take things further and create bespoke portfolio solutions that employ these strategies, so our clients can easily and conveniently invest in them. The aim of developing in-house managed products is to complement the diligently selected suite of third-party mutual funds on our platform, ultimately availing a more holistic offering for our clients.”

DBS Private Bank’s first in-house managed investment product was the DBS Global Income Note, a globally diversified fixed income solution that seeks to provide stable income, which has generated an annualised 7%[1] return since inception. This was followed by the rollout of the bank’s flagship DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio two years ago, which mirrors the CIO’s ‘Barbell’ investment strategy. This has delivered 33%[2] return since inception, representing 350 basis points of outperformance over benchmark.

The two latest product innovations seek to enable clients to seize emerging opportunities in a world where the megatrends of digitalisation and sustainability are increasingly coming to the fore: the DBS I.D.E.A. Fund invests in companies that are slated to be winners in a digital economy, whilst the DBS ESG Focus Note builds on the bank’s conviction in the ESG (environmental, social, governance) investment proposition. Both solutions are available to accredited investors at a minimum investment sum of USD 50,000.

DBS I.D.E.A. Fund: Identifying potential winners in a digital world

The DBS I.D.E.A. Fund takes a long-term, high conviction approach to identify companies that are well-positioned to ride the disruption wave, and thrive in a world that is fast transitioning into a digital economy.

It leverages the CIO’s proprietary I.D.E.A. (Innovators, Disruptors, Enablers and Adapters) framework for stock selection. It seeks to identify Innovators that are constantly creating new products and services; Disruptors who do things differently and are thus challenging the status quo; Enablers that empower innovation and disruption; and Adapters, which refer to non-technology companies that are successfully transforming their traditional business models to ride the new digital trend.

The DBS I.D.E.A. Fund is a global portfolio comprising some 50 stocks, carefully selected from 20 themes that the bank sees as being on the cusp of transformational growth – including the likes of Blockchain, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Biotechnology, Electric/Autonomous Vehicles, and Space Commercialisation, among others. The Fund is rated ‘A’ by MSCI ESG Ratings.

“The future requires us to put on new lenses in order to separate the winners from the laggards, which is what the DBS I.D.E.A. Fund seeks to do. In addition, a differentiating feature versus other Technology funds is the considerable exposure to traditional companies that demonstrate the ability to self-disrupt and become successful adapters. This allows us to benefit from the potential these companies hold, as they’re slated to be powerful players in the future as well,” said Hou.

DBS ESG Focus Note: Further deepening the bank’s commitment to ESG

The DBS ESG Focus Note was launched in view of two persisting trends: the ongoing hunt for yield amid a lower for longer environment, and clients’ growing awareness and appreciation of ESG investing as a means to do good and do well.

This new solution bridges the two by addressing the need for income generation in a sustainable and responsible manner. It also reiterates the bank’s conviction that companies with robust ESG mandates in place are more likely to be insured against non-financial risks, and are thus better positioned to deliver superior returns in the long-term.

The DBS ESG Focus Note invests in a highly diversified fixed income portfolio comprising at least 80 bonds that are issued by global companies with good ESG ratings, and from across a range of industries. The objective is to harness incremental yields from these bonds, and provide quarterly distributions to investors.

This marks the bank’s first in-house fixed income ESG product, and follows the success of earlier innovations including the ESG Outperformance Trade, which was rolled out in 2018 as the first-of-its-kind in Asia, and later relaunched to strong client reception in 2020.

Audra Seah, Head of Investment Advisory and Capital Market Products, DBS Private Bank, said, “Since 2018, we have successfully launched various ESG outperformance structures in the equity space, giving clients exposure to companies that score well based on MSCI ESG scoring methodology. We foresee continued strong interest as more clients come to appreciate the benefits of ESG investing, and have thus created the DBS ESG Focus note as a means for them to extend their participation in sustainable investments to the fixed income part of their portfolios.”

In line with its commitment to building a more sustainable world, DBS Private Bank’s in-house managed investment products are designed with sustainability at their core, and rated ‘BBB’ and above based on MSCI ESG Ratings.

[1] As of end August 2021
[2] As of end August 2021


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 12 consecutive years from 2009 to 2020.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.