HFM Asian Services Awards 2023 – Interview with Caleb Wong

Caleb Wong, our Head of Alternatives for Asia Pacific, shared his predictions for the Hedge Funds space for managers.

How do you feel having won the award for Best Hedge fund custodian?

It is a privilege and a reward for our team’s hard work and devotion to win the award for Best Hedge Fund Custodian. We are honoured and grateful for the recognition that we are getting from the industry as it demonstrates our excellence in delivering first-class custodial services to hedge funds. This accomplishment makes us proud and inspires us to keep striving for excellence in the dynamic financial environment.

What have been your highlights as a business over the past year?

The past year has been marked by significant achievements and milestones for our business. One of our key highlights has been the successful strengthening of our integrated bank strategy to enhance efficiency and value for our clients. Our clients can benefit from a full suite of front-to-back liquid alternatives and hedge fund outsourcing solutions – from core fund administration, through to custody, depository, cash, FX, financing, global markets and prime brokerage solutions. Additionally, we’ve forged strategic partnerships that have expanded our depth and reach, and allowed us to offer even more comprehensive solutions. For example, our recent exclusive agreement enabled us to integrate HSBC’s hedge fund administration business onto BNP Paribas platform across the globe. Our commitment to client satisfaction has resulted in a steady growth in our clientele, and we are proud of the trust they continue to place in us.

What are your predictions for the hedge fund space over the next year in terms of challenges and opportunities for managers?

Looking ahead, there is little doubt that the hedge fund market will continue its growth momentum, and this space is likely to face both challenges and opportunities. Regulatory changes and geopolitical uncertainties may pose challenges, requiring managers and service providers to stay agile and adaptive. On the flip side the ongoing digital transformation presents exciting opportunities for those who embrace technological advancements – particularly the incorporation of generative AI, which serves as a critical element distinguishing funds capable of thriving in this high-stakes environment. Hedge funds will likely have to invest in technology and related controls in the face of weak performance and margin pressure. Failing to do so may result in falling short of both client expectations and internal efficiency goals. Successful maneuvering through market volatility with a strategic mindset and staying informed about industry trends will be essential. We foresee a heightened emphasis on sustainable investing and ESG considerations, paving the way for new opportunities in growth and differentiation.

What will be your key areas of focus from 2024?

As we move forward, our primary focus will be on continuous innovation and staying at the forefront of technological advancements. We aim to further strengthen our client relationships by providing innovative solutions that address their evolving needs. Through closely collaborating with our clients, we have built a digital portal ecosystem that gives clients, and their investors, the functionalities they actually need. And we continue to drive development in the same way into 2024. Additionally, we will actively monitor regulatory changes and expand our global footprint as we strive to enhance our One Bank offering and provide even greater value to our clients. Overall, the market will see us doubling down on our commitment to excellence and sustainable growth in 2024.

Caleb Wong

Head of Alternatives, Asia-Pacific
Securities Services, BNP Paribas

Caleb Wong is the Head of Alternatives for Asia-Pacific region at Securities Services, BNP Paribas, with more than 25 years of experience in banking and finance and expertise in the asset servicing of alternative and traditional asset classes. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, Caleb was Managing Director at State Street and has taken on senior roles at Manulife Asset Management, Fortis Prime Fund and The Bank of New York.