[Interview]: Discover “M” by MCB

François Desvaux de Marigny, Head of Private Banking & Wealth Management at MCB, tells us more about M, and how the sector is evolving in today’s unusual context.

What is the essence of “M” and what differentiates this offer from that of MCB Private Banking?

The Mauritian economy has been among the most successful economies in the African zone over the past decade. This has contributed to an increase in the rate of wealth per capita. Furthermore, there is a new clientele of high net worth individuals, coming mainly from Europe and South Africa, attracted by the favourable tax regime of the country along with its high-end land programmes.

The increase in the size of the market and the diversity of customers called for a fresher and finer segmentation, in order to meet the needs of each individual to the best of our ability.

That’s something we have been working on for several years now. We already have our firmly established “Select” brand and now we have the “M” brand, aimed exclusively at our HNWI customers, with a dedicated heritage offering. “M” offers a full range of personalised products and services and their level of sophistication is adapted to the profile of each client.

What personalised services do you offer?

“M” clients benefit from services such as financial planning, stock market order execution, discretionary and non-discretionary management, assistance with fund selection and access to certain Private Equity investments–depending on the amount they invest. These services are designed to be open architecture and thus guarantee perfect independence in terms of allocative choices.

  • Financial Planning

Our planners, associated with a large network of external experts, support the client in the analysis of his or her financial situation. We understand our client’s objectives by translating them into financial needs before offering them an asset allocation that not only best meets their reality, but also caters to their ambitions.

  • Discretionary management

We manage the assets that our clients entrust us with, on the basis of the investment and risk parameters that we determine together. The portfolio can be invested locally and/or internationally, in developed and emerging countries, with access to most asset classes.

  • Non-Discretionary Management

Clients of “M” also benefit from full support guaranteeing the implementation of their investment strategy. They make their own decisions based on personalised recommendations from their advisor.

  • Execution of stock market orders

Thanks to our network, clients of “M” can access the main financial markets. Our desk offers a wide range of equity, debt, mutual fund and structured product trading services.

  • Private Equity

MCB Private Banking & Wealth Management also offers its “M” clients privileged access to leading private equity groups and to exclusive offers tailored to its investment strategy.

In a competitive industry, how does your service stand out from the crowd?

Our service is distinguished by the quality of the contact between the banker and his client. A true conductor of the Group’s various skills and expertise, the private banker is constantly listening to his client at every stage of the building of his or her assets.

Above everything else, MCB Private Banking & Wealth Management consists of 130 employees who master the economic, banking and financial environment as a whole. Synergies with other Group entities are also a definite asset: fund management, stock brokerage, economic research, corporate finance, etc.

Regionally and internationally, MCB Private Banking & Wealth Management is positioned as a benchmark. On the strength of our value proposition, we are pursuing our expansion by relying on our establishments abroad, our subsidiaries as well as our representative offices in Africa (RSA, Kenya), in Dubai and in Paris.

In view of the current economic context, how do you reassure your customers?

We closely monitor the economic situation and remain close to our clients by regularly updating them on our outlook. We focus on the long-term nature of investments, the inherent presence of market volatility and the management of associated risks. We also draw their attention to the many longer-term opportunities created by areas of instability.

What are the emerging trends in Private Banking?
  • Digital trends

Improving customer experience by making greater use of technology is a priority. This does not only meet the demands of a younger and ever more active clientele, but also provides account managers with the tools to better serve their clients, wherever they may be.

  • Regulatory measures

All the regulations put in place in recent years now allow us to operate in a much healthier environment. These rules, which some see too often as a constraint, are on the contrary there to protect us in the exercise of our profession and to protect the assets of our clients. Strict adherence to these rules of ethics and transparency becomes a commercial argument.

  • Customer engagement

During the pandemic, we saw more in-depth engagement in discussions about wealth management and the various associated services. Conversations between the banker and his client have become more personal and relationships have grown. 

  • ESG investment

The theme of ESG investment is not new. While some investment approaches come and go, the trends driving the need for sustainable business practices are here to stay. Adopting investments that meet ESG criteria is one way of preparing a portfolio for the economic changes to come. 

A message that you would like to share with your customers?

The very essence of Private Banking is based on the quality of the relationship the banker will create with his client. It is this intimate and lasting bond that will drive the client’s important decisions beyond mere issues of  asset management. There is no need to look further,  the real wealth is that which emanates from this relationship.