DBS Private Bank's flagship portfolio hits new high of 7.0% in gains

Singapore.19 Aug 2020

DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio outperforms composite benchmark's 2.2% gain, demonstrating resilience amidst volatility

Singapore, 19 Aug 2020 - Despite widespread market volatility in the first half of the year, DBS Private Bank’s flagship investment portfolio – the DBS Chief Investment Office (CIO) Barbell Strategy Portfolio – has achieved a record performance of 7.0% (year-to-date as of 31 July 2020), outperforming the composite benchmark’s 2.2% gain. Designed to capitalise on long-term, irreversible growth trends while mitigating short-term volatility through income-generating assets, the portfolio’s two-pronged strategy has become especially relevant today as uncertainties persist. Currently, over SGD 1.2 billion of discretionary assets under management within DBS Private Bank reference this strategy.

 Since launch date (28 August 2019)1M 3M 6M YTD
DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio14.6%6.2%16.5%5.4%7.0%
Composite benchmark[1]8.3%4.3%8.9%2.2%2.2%
Table 1: Returns statistics as of 31 July 2020

Said Hou Wey Fook, Chief Investment Officer, DBS Bank, “2020 has been a stark reminder for investors to be positioned for long-term resilience. Amid slower growth and rising bifurcation, and with the global pandemic and political tensions still on the world’s radar, it is more important than ever to take a well-diversified approach that also considers post-pandemic opportunities. The DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio represents the bank’s view of the future, and with its dual focus on growth and income, seeks to help clients navigate the road ahead by providing a resilient solution to form the bedrock of their investment portfolios.”

DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio

The DBS CIO Barbell Strategy Portfolio (the “Portfolio”) is a globally diversified portfolio comprising over 50 securities across a range of geographies, sectors and asset classes[2]. The Portfolio is unique to DBS as it mirrors the CIO’s investment calls and is designed based on two anchor components:

  1. Growth: Exposure to secular trends including digitalisation, e-Commerce, healthcare, millennials and China equities
  2. Income: Seeks to generate a steady income stream for downside protection via exposure to dividend equities, REITs and corporate bonds

Conceptualised, developed and actively managed in-house, the Portfolio is built on a combination of top-down asset allocation and bottom-up stock selection. The CIO sets the overall investment strategy, asset allocation and sector exposure based on its macro-economic and thematic trends, while portfolio construction and stock selection rely on the extensive research expertise and stringent curation of the bank’s research, discretionary portfolio management (DPM) and product teams.

Accredited investors from DBS Private Bank and DBS Treasures Private Client (TPC) can participate via the DBS CIO Barbell Note or the bank’s DPM service.

DBS CIO Barbell Note

The DBS CIO Barbell Note (the “Note”) references the Portfolio. It is open-ended with no fixed maturity and is rebalanced monthly or upon update of portfolio components. It is available in six currencies, at a minimum investment sum of USD / SGD / EUR / AUD / CHF 100,000 or HKD 500,000. To enable investors to reap the full benefits of compounding, any dividend and coupon distributions from the Portfolio’s underlying instruments will be reinvested.

DBS Discretionary Portfolio Management (DPM)

Clients subscribed to DBS’ DPM service, which requires a minimum investment of SGD 5 million in discretionary assets under management, can also choose to participate in the Portfolio by channelling their funds into a mixed-asset discretionary mandate. These clients will receive any dividend and coupon pay-outs from the Portfolio, as the underlying instruments will be registered in their name.

DBS’ “Topple the Barbell Challenge”

To demonstrate its confidence in the Portfolio, DBS has also launched the “Topple the Barbell Challenge” – an inaugural initiative that invites clients to put the Portfolio to the test by challenging them to outperform the Portfolio’s return at the end of a designated 12-month period.

Two prize categories will be awarded at the end of the challenge, with the top-performing 10% receiving 100,000 miles for every 1% mark-to-market final outperformance[3]. The best-performing client will also have SGD 50,000 donated in their name to a DBS-supported social enterprise or charitable organisation of their choice.

Participation in the challenge requires a minimum entry amount of SGD 250,000 (or equivalent) and will be open to DBS Private Bank or DBS TPC clients on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Registrations are ongoing till 30 September, and clients can indicate their interest through their relationship manager.

For more information on the “Topple the Barbell Challenge,” please visit: https://www.dbs.com.sg/private-banking/barbellchallenge.page

[1]Source: Bloomberg, DBS as at end July 2020 (50/50 – Global equities / Bloomberg Barclays US Agg Bond index)
[2]Equities, bonds, and alternatives such as real estate, gold and hedge funds
[3]Capped at 1,000,000 miles per participant


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. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 11 consecutive years from 2009 to 2019.

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. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 29,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.