now loading...
Wealth Asia Connect Middle East Treasury & Capital Markets Europe ESG Forum TechTalk

Asset Management / Awards / Wealth Management
Corporate Trust Awards 2024: Crafting solid deals in a slow market
Clients put premium on service provider’s experience, responsiveness and ability to navigate complex issues
The Asset 2 May 2024

Corporate trustees posted a surprisingly decent performance in 2023 even though their bread-and-butter businesses, such as bond deals, repackaged notes (repacks), and medium-term note (MTN) programmes, all but dried up, hit hard by the high interest rate environment.

By no means were they less busy during the review period as they focused on servicing existing clients and prospecting for new ones, hopeful of a market recovery in 2024.

Based on the findings of the Corporate Trust Services Insights, the annual survey of corporate trust clients conducted by The Asset, clients are paying greater attention to the experience, responsiveness, and ability of their corporate trustees to deal with complex issues – more so now than they did in the past.

The changing market conditions are driving clients to differentiate more deeply between service providers, particularly individual corporate trustees.

When choosing a corporate trust service provider, execution capability, track record and experience, as well as transaction administration capability are the three most important factors, the Corporate Trust Services Insights survey finds.

Trustees who have more industry experience, who are more responsive in dealing with client requirements, and who provide more professional and timely advice are favoured.

Best Individuals in Corporate Trust

Ten individual trustees were recognized as the Best Individuals in Corporate Trust for 2024 by clients from Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, for their exemplary performance during the review period.

Clients from Hong Kong and Singapore hailed Alan Lai, general manager, head of the transaction banking division, China Construction Bank (Asia), as a leader and one of the most experienced individuals in the corporate trust business in Asia. He and his team have displayed remarkable efficiency and ability in executing transactions of various types. Lai is the only individual trustee who has been recognized by clients in the two markets at the same time.

In Singapore, Joice Tjen, associate, client services manager, issuer services Singapore, HSBC, was recognized for paying close attention to detail, assisting clients in their queries and resolving issues, as well as guiding them through transactions.

In South Korea, clients gave the thumbs up to Byungchul Ban, executive director/trust division head, Citibank Korea, for his experience and responsiveness as well as his solid understanding of the client’s business and demands. Ban is also appreciated for being cooperative and helpful.

Clients from Singapore voted for Audrey Chan, acting head of issuer services Singapore, HSBC, citing her solid understanding of client requirements, as well as her responsiveness and ability to meet tight deadlines.

In Hong Kong, Matthew Chan, vice president, transaction banking, China Construction Bank (Asia), gained favour for being highly responsive to client queries. He is also trusted by clients, especially for his dedicated services, efficiency, and ability to solve complex issues.

Clients from Hong Kong also chose Airain Pak, head of sales, transaction banking division, China Construction Bank (Asia), for being one of the most experienced in the industry. She was also recognized for being deeply responsive, providing professional and timely advice, and assisting clients in unique transactions.

Also in Hong Kong, Donna Healy, head of transaction management, transaction banking, China Construction Bank (Asia), stood out for her long experience in debt capital markets and structured finance, as well as her excellent communication skills and capability to support complex transactions.

Siuchan Kwan, director, co-regional head of client sales management, investor services, Citi, was also recognized by clients in Hong Kong for being a seasoned professional as well as for his responsiveness, patience, and helpfulness.

China clients also recognized Tina Wu, vice president, business development, North Asia issuer services, of HSBC as a well-trusted service provider with comprehensive experience, and is most capable of customizing solutions, especially in cases relating to state-owned enterprises.

In Singapore, Abdul Hakeem Haji Osman, client services manager, issuer services, Singapore, HSBC Global Banking and Markets, was praised for providing excellent service, his strong attention to detail, and responsiveness to client needs.

For the full list of awardees, please click here.

Best in Corporate Trust

Most of the issuances last year were investment-grade bonds done under existing note programmes, but the volume was much less when compared to previous years. Nonetheless, the issuance volume of international bonds from Asian issuers saw a partial recovery, rising to about US$380 billion in 2023 from US$371 billion in the previous year.

Last year’s issuance volume in the region remained below the record level of over US$620 billion seen in 2021, as Asian issuers preferred issuing bonds in domestic currencies for cost-effectiveness in 2022 and 2023, according to data from the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA).

For corporate trustees, several bright spots drove this partial recovery. particularly South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan. China remained a significant player, accounting for 29% of the total issuance volume and ranking second only to Japan’s US$115 billion. However, China’s international bond issuance declined by 12% to US$108 billion in 2023 from US$122 billion in 2022 and US$230 billion in 2021, according to ICMA.

It is in this context that we are announcing the winners of the Best in Corporate Trust Awards of The Asset Triple A Sustainable Investing Awards for Institutional Investor, ETF, and Asset Servicing Providers 2024.

The nominees for the regional award include Citi, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and CCB Asia. The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony to be held in Hong Kong.

Best in Corporate Trust – South Korea

Citi

In 2023, Citi continued to be the market leader in South Korea, ranking No. 1 in the country’s asset-backed securitization (ABS) market with a 100% share. It has dominated cross-border ABS and domestic ABS with non-resident foreign bondholders for more than a decade, as well as covered bonds issued outside of Korea since 2021.

Best in Corporate Trust – Hong Kong

China Construction Bank (Asia)

Despite the market downturn, CCB (Asia) posted steady growth in the bond trustee and agency business in 2023. In particular, the bank remained the market leader in Greater China bond issuance, ranking first in both the China offshore bond trustee and China offshore bond paying agent league tables. It also recorded the highest year-on-year growth in market share in both the trustee and paying agent categories at 5.33% and 7.67% respectively.

Best in Corporate Trust – India

Best in Corporate Trust – Singapore

HSBC

In 2023, HSBC Issuer Services continued to ramp up its “corridor initiatives”, sharpening its focus on India, China and Southeast Asia. It scaled up its Remittance Agency solution in China, adding more value to clients that are looking to access cross-border capital into and out of China. The solution has also helped HSBC widen support to clients routing capital raised in international markets into India through Mauritius, Singapore, and other international locations.

For the full list of awardees, please click here.

To join the in-person annual celebratory dinner on June 14th 2024 in Hong Kong, please contact celebrate@theasset.com.

Conversation
Nneka Chike-Obi
Nneka Chike-Obi
head of APAC ESG ratings and research
Sustainable Fitch
- JOINED THE EVENT -
6th ESG Summit
Beyond the hype
View Highlights
Conversation
Gopul Shah
Gopul Shah
director, head of global treasury and trade finance
Golden Agri-Resources
- JOINED THE EVENT -
4th ESG Summit - Webinar series
Rising Expectations
Part 1 - Covid conversation
View Highlights