“It is no longer what it used to be”. This is these days an often-heard complaint coming from Private Banking practitioners. Especially those who have been in the industry for some time, feel deprived from the freedom and privileges they were so used to. No matter how long they have been in the industry or how long and successful they have managed their clients, all policies and procedures apply equally to them like they do to anyone else. “Why does my Bank expect me to act as a trusted advisor to my clients, whilst at the same time it is evident from all the new policies that the Bank does not even trust me?”
It appears that the Private Banking industry is operating under dark clouds. And the weather forecast does not seem to give much hope for improvement soon: high costs, depressed revenue margins, ever increasing regulatory interference and a skeptical clientele.
Even against this background and the sometimes convincing examples of why it has become so difficult to work in the Private Banking sector, Sonam’s philosophy remains simple: as long as there are wealthy individuals requiring the services of professionals to protect and conserve their assets, nothing really changes fundamentally.
However, the industry is currently coping – to a large extent – with the consequences of having compromised for many years with quality and integrity. The Banks were often more preoccupied with growth and profitability than with client servicing and client relationships. That has left the regulators no other option than to step in.
It is now up to the Banks to bring the focus back to adding value to customers. And to be able to add value, we need to be good and honest. That makes QUALITY and INTEGRITY two key ingredients for a sustainable and respectable Private Banking business. A Private Banking business that is exciting and fun.
It is Sonam’s ambition to contribute in every way possible to increase the levels of QUALITY and INTEGRITY.
Sonam has been established in 2012 by Mr. Kees Stoute. Prior to that he was the Managing Director of EFG Bank in South East Asia. EFG Bank is the Swiss private banking subsidiary of EFG International, which is one of the larger banking groups in Switzerland by Tier-1 capital.
Kees Stoute has a distinguished career spanning the academic, IT & Operations and private banking sectors, and has been based in Asia for almost 19 years, of which most of the time spent in Singapore.
As an experienced private banker, Kees Stoute served at MeesPierson from 1992 to 1996 as its regional head of IT. In 1996, he was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer of Fortis / MeesPierson in Singapore. In this position, he became a member of the Regional Management Team of MeesPierson Private Banking. In April 2000, he moved on to become Managing Director of the Business Line Private Banking and Trust in Asia for MeesPierson and in 2002, he was (in addition) promoted to Managing Director of the legal entity MeesPierson Asia Ltd in Singapore.
From mid-2004 to June 2005, he was a member of the Fortis Asia Bank Management Council. When Fortis acquired the London-headquartered Dryden Wealth Management in 2005, Kees Stoute was appointed global CEO and Chairman with the mandate to integrate this company into Fortis.
In 2007, Kees moved to the position of Managing Director, EFG Bank Singapore where he remained in charge until April 2012. He left EFG Banking to set up and develop Sonam.
In 2011 Kees Stoute became one of the first in Singapore to be certified by the regulator in Singapore (IBF) as Financial Industry Certified Professional (FICP – Role Model 6). In the same year, he was also invited to participate in the Private Banking Industry Group, a consultative forum which was established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (‘MAS’) to further strengthen the competency and market conduct standards of the Private Banking industry in Singapore.
In 2012, Kees Stoute became the inaugural winner of the Hubbis Recognition of Excellence in Asian Wealth Management Award.
Kees Stoute is furthermore involved in speaking engagements at the Wealth Management Institute (‘WMI’) in Singapore.
Sonam consists of two legal entities:
– Sonam B.V. in The Netherlands
– Sonam Pte Ltd in Singapore
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