BANK of the Philippine Islands’ (BPI) wealth management arm expects double-digit growth in its assets under management (AUM) this year amid an improving economic outlook and its plan to introduce new products, its top official said.

“Looking ahead, BPI Wealth is on track and poised to sustain our growth momentum in 2024 and beyond. We see our AUMs growing in the neighborhood of 15% to 20% with strong winds behind our sails given buoyant market conditions and a renewed sense of optimism towards economic expansion supported by lower inflation, potential decline in interest rates, and higher investment spending,” BPI Wealth President and Chief Executive Officer Maria Theresa D. Marcial said in an e-mail.

The BPI unit saw its AUM reach P1.223 trillion at end-2023, she said, exceeding their P1-trillion target for the year. The end-2023 performance marked a 40% increase from the P875 billion in AUM it recorded in 2022.

“This comes on the back of aggressive marketing and acquisition initiatives, and organic growth in four key client segments — Institutional, High Net Worth, Mass Affluent, and Retail segments — cementing our position as the largest investment fund manager and the largest stand-alone trust corporation in the Philippines,” Ms. Marcial said.

“In 2023, BPI Wealth’s bespoke managed accounts also grew by 54%, with over 50 new mandates won, generating P45 billion in new money. This includes landmark deals such as the awarding of investment mandates from the state’s pension provider SSS (Social Security System) and from Pag-IBIG Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund),” she added.

The AUM growth in 2023 was also driven by its initiatives to make funds more accessible, such as the lowering of the minimum investment amount for unit investment trust funds and mutual funds to P1,000, and allowing clients to open and manage investment accounts digitally via the BPI mobile app, Ms. Marcial said.

“We also forged partnerships with institutional agents and expanded channels through which clients can settle investment fund transactions,” she said.

For this year, BPI Wealth plans to introduce new products to help drive the increase in its AUMs, Ms. Marcial noted, including an investment fund with health benefits and lifestyle rewards.

“BPI Wealth will also capitalize on the growth opportunities in our new Multi Family Office solution… This innovative offering provides high net worth clients with access to a team of expert wealth planners capable of navigating the multifaceted aspects of family governance, investment management, legal advisory, structuring, documentation, and comprehensive planning of short and long-term goals,” she said.

“In a bid to attract more investors to pivot to sustainable investing, BPI Wealth’s Sustainable Funds will be made available to a broader market segment through the introduction of the Peso Share Class,” she added.

The company is also targeting to grow its employee benefit funds business to include administrative solutions, Ms. Marcial said.

“We will also introduce new discretionary model portfolios that cater to a wider range of investors who want to capitalize on market opportunities quickly and efficiently, while staying aligned to their investment objectives. These initiatives collectively aim to propel BPI Wealth towards our next AUM milestones,” she added.

BPI Wealth previously said that it aims to grow its AUM to P3 trillion by 2026.

Its listed parent BPI’s net income rose by 44.3% year on year to P13.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, bringing its full-year net profit to P51.7 billion, up by 30.5%.

Its shares rose by P1.10 or 0.94% to end at P117.80 apiece on Tuesday. — A.M.C. Sy