People Moves

Franklin Templeton Builds Out Family Offices, Private Banks Offering

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 12 June 2024

Franklin Templeton Builds Out Family Offices, Private Banks Offering

The appointment comes as Singapore and Hong Kong are competing as family office hubs. Franklin Templeton said the region's HNW investors want more complex, diversified and global ways of allocating money.

Franklin Templeton has appointed former BNP Paribas Wealth Management figure Gaurav Bathija (pictured) to the newly-created role of head of private banks and family offices. The appointment took effect from 27 May.

Bathija is based in Singapore and reports to Christian Bucaro, head of wealth for Asia at the US-headquartered firm. He will work with teams in markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong. 

The appointment comes at a time when financial centres such as Singapore are flexing their family offices muscles. For example, Singapore's family offices sector has grown rapidly – although it is now showing signs of deceleration as regulators tighten controls and adjust rules. While definitions of “family office” can be fuzzy at times, there are said to be about 700 family offices in Singapore. Banks such as DBS, for example, are tapping into the space. More than 59 per cent of Asia’s family offices are based in Singapore. Growth is driven by the rising affluence of the region and Singapore’s attractions as a relatively legally and politically safe jurisdiction. It has sought to clarify and strengthen rules for SFOs, as reported here. Hong Kong is also trying to compete as a centre for family offices.  

Among other tasks, Bathija will build new links with global and regional private banks and other channels to HNW individuals.

“We are delighted to welcome Gaurav to Franklin Templeton. Asia’s rising prosperity is reshaping the global investment landscape, and high net worth investors in the region are increasingly looking for more complex, diversified, and global investment solutions, Christian Bucaro, head of wealth for Asia at Franklin Templeton, said.

Bathija has more than 25 years’ experience in capital markets, private equity and private banking. Previously, he was managing director of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, focusing on the family office segment in Southeast Asia. Having worked in the US and UK previously, Bathija moved to Singapore in 2011 with JP Morgan Private Bank, where he covered financial sponsors and family offices. He led Citi Private Bank’s family office effort in Southeast Asia between 2019 and 2021. Bathija holds an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.

Register for WealthBriefingAsia today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes