LGT, a private bank owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein, plans to double staff in Japan as it joins global rivals targeting $17 trillion of household wealth in the Asian country.
LGT Wealth Management Trust Inc, which kicked off services in Japan last month, wants to build a workforce of 70 to 80 over the coming three years, said Yoshitaka Nagakura, who heads its private banking business in the country. It is also weighing tie-ups with funds, regional lenders and non-Japanese investment banks to meet the needs of clients, he said in an interview.
Japan presents a massive opportunity for wealth managers with households in the country holding more than half their financial assets in cash and deposits. LGT’s moves come as global giants UBS Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc expand their presence to battle local houses led by Nomura Holdings Inc for services managing money in exchange for fees.
Affluent Japanese are more willing to do business with international companies while a recent government campaign has made overseas firms more welcome in the third-largest economy, said Nagakura, who previously worked in private banking at Credit Suisse Group AG.
“Now is the best time to enter,” he said. “Barriers to market entry have fallen.”
LGT sees customers with financial assets of at least 1 billion yen ($8.7 million) as the type that can make the most use of its services. The firm plans to offer opportunities for Japanese clients to invest in unconventional assets, such as stocks of unlisted companies, and in the future may add cryptocurrencies to its lineup, Nagakura said.