Banking & Financial Services

BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

For State Street Bank: SINGAPORE FUND MANAGEMENT SURVEY

The Client, a world leader in financial and investment advisory services, commissioned this fund managers’ survey engagement because it wished to study the foreign exchange and equity volumes executed in Singapore to focus its marketing efforts, targeting fund managers with best sales potential with respect to big volume foreign exchange and equities. Survey topics:

  • Determine amount of assets under management
  • Determine investment classes
  • Determine investment strategies and styles
  • Determine operation of active currency hedging
  • Determine trade volumes

For PrimeCredit, Hong Kong: SINGAPORE UNSECURED PERSONAL LOANS MARKET FEASIBILITY STUDY

Client commissioned this project to understand Singapore’s market for micro loans, i.e, unsecured personal loans, and whether the Singapore market is attractive for them to enter, how much money they would make and how best to enter this market.   Our analysis included profile of Singapore’s existing small loans providers like pawn shops, cooperatives, banks, loan sharking and other means of generating quick credit and cash like Cash Converter shops.

Result? Our research shows that the Singapore market is already well served by cooperatives, pawn shops and quick cash sale Cash Converter shops.

Client Benefits? We advised our client not to enter the Singapore market due to inherent high risks of unsecured lending in such a small market size.

For a Singapore Bank: RETAIL BANKING WEBSITE CONTENT DEVELOPMENT & MYSTERY SHOPPING

For initial website launch, we researched, edited and wrote the portal’s Financial Products Overview within an urgent 3-day dateline. Topics included:

Fixed deposits; Basic concepts in lending Interest rates and how they work; Mortgages Capital repayment Car loans; Credit lines; Credit cards CPF; Insurance Investment-Linked Insurance Products (ILPs) Financial planning; Tax implications

Mystery Shopper survey: we also conducted mystery shopping surveys, contacting competitor banks’ Customer Service or Loans Department. We assessed how banks responded when our shoppers looked for the best personal banking deals with good customer service level and banking advice.

Result? We helped to improve our client’s retail banking portal, written in a very personal and street-level tone to connect with retail website browsers. Our mystery shopping efforts revealed market insights on competitor banks’ website experience and ways to differentiate our client.

Client Benefits? Overall improved market connection and differentiation.

For Mizuho Bank, Tokyo: 5 ASIAN COUNTRY INVESTMENT BANKING CONCEPT STUDY

Client wanted to gain a better understanding of the advertising concepts surrounding the investment banking industry in Asia. Our consultant also analysed the business and competitive dynamics as well as a brief profile on the top ten investment banks. A competitive intelligence on western banks and their advertising strategies was also conducted. We tested institutional market brand perceptions, impressions and expectations to its new proposed brand name across 5 Asian countries: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan.

Customer Satisfaction Survey: We gathered comparative market feedback on client and its competitors on key important client service and experience topics. We surveyed fund managers, investment analysts and other users of financial institutions also for their views, perception and concept associations of corporate identities and branding

Result? Client better understood how to advertise to its institutional market and changed some brand features

Client Benefits? Asia-wide acceptance of its new brand

For Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto: SINGAPORE EXPORT FINANCING FEASIBILITY STUDY

Client commissioned this project to understand Singapore’s market for export factoring, and whether the Singapore market is attractive for them to enter, how much revenues and profits they would make and to develop market entry and alliance strategies. Our analysis included profile of Singapore’s existing factoring providers. We also surveyed 30 export companies who currently use factoring on their views of using a potential new factor service provider.

Our analysis assessed Singapore’s market attractiveness for the client’s receivables financing product which involved the analysis of trade flows from Singapore to North America, inter-ASEAN trade flows, export volume and export financing needs of Singapore-based companies in the electronics, chemical and medical equipment sectors.

We then conducted personal interviews with several factoring firms to determine their service offerings and competitive pricing as well as targeted manufacturers to gauge their willingness to pay for the client’s export financing service.

Finally, we prepared a Singapore competitive banking industry analysis.

Result? Our research shows that the Singapore market is already dominated by strong local factoring competitors who are well favoured by corporate clients. These factoring banks can lower their cost of funds and maintain a large market share of funds. Also, potential clients were skeptical that a new foreign entrant can offer better than their already low-cost factoring companies.

Client Benefits? We advised our client not to enter the Singapore market due to very strongly entrenched local competitors and skeptic local potential market.

For VISA: ASIA RETAIL SPENDING AND CREDIT CARD SPENDING STUDY

Our consultant analysed market sizes, YTD annual growth rates and card penetration rates for each of the 16 sectors: Traditional merchant segments (restaurants, fashion, department stores, travel agencies, recreation, hotels, airline ticketing, book stores). New merchant segments (government payments, supermarkets, insurance, utilities, telecoms, gasoline, education, medical). Coverage of 22 Asian countries include: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand. We identified new and emerging Asia Pacific card penetration opportunities which amounted to more than US$1 trillion: Discretionary and non-discretionary Category (T & E, Retail/ Everyday/Bill Payments). We also identified Asia market trends, market outlook, market drivers and future/pending regulatory changes.

Result? We developed a massive retail market size and credit card penetration database on 16 selected business segments across 22 Asian countries.

Client Benefits? Client was able to determine Asian sector growth potential and conduct focused marketing on the major merchant segments.

For a US Venture Capital client: ASIA SME INVESTMENT TARGET PRE DUE DILIGENCE STUDY

Long List: We identified over 1400 Asia small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and contacted them to determine their interest in receiving US investment from our client.

Short List: we screened these SMEs for their suitability from several criteria (e.g. revenue size, profitability, extent of exports, nature of products and services, etc) and developed a shortlist of the optimum 50 Asia SMEs for our client to invest in. Subsequently, we assisted these SMEs in their working capital and cash flow management.

Result? We generated a target investment database built from across 14 selected Asian countries (Bangladesh, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).

Client Benefits? Client was able to quickly select their preferred investment targets to implement their Asia investment portfolio.

For Financial Times (London): ‘ASIAN CITIES OF THE FUTURE 2007’ CITY RANKING COMPETITION

(Client awarded us its Letter of Commendation)

We analysed the investment, economic, business and financial strengths of cities across 24 Asia countries in the latest 2007/08 ranking competition. Our CEO Mr Lawrence Yeo was one of judge in the 2005/06 competition panel of 3 judges. We identified small and large Asian cities and assessed those with good prospects for investment, rapid economic development and rising quality of living. More than 60 criteria were gathered, ranging from cost effectiveness, to human resources and infrastructure in these cities. Result? We developed a massive city database on 24 selected countries, contacted 559 cities and ranked cities according to these categories: 1. Economic Potential 2. Cost Effectiveness 3. Human Resources 4. Transport 5. IT & Telecommunications 6. Quality of Life 7. Best FDI Potential

Client Benefits? Client was able to publish the latest 2007/08 ranking to 45,000 global CEOs and government officials.

For a Paris Private Equity Firm: THAILAND & VIETNAM BITUMEN SHEET ROOFING TILES M & A DUE DILIGENCE

Client, a private equity firm, engaged our services to conduct pre due diligence on a roofing tile manufacturer which has major presence in Thailand and Vietnam. Client is evaluating a potential acquisition decision by first studying the penetration potential of these markets. Tasks:

1. Market Dynamics
1.1 Growth Drivers (Global, Local)
1.2 Market Size by Segment (roofing square metre, m²)
1.2.1 Number of Permits, Number and Area of Building Construction by Type of Building
1.2.2 Roofing Market Size
1.2.3 Historical
1.2.4 Projection
1.3 Differentiated Breakdown / Trends by Regions (Key Cities as target territories)
1.4 Past Growth per End Market
1.5 Projected Growth per End Market
1.6 Post Mortem
1.6.1 Current Mass Housing Programmes Under Construction (Individual and Collective)
1.6.2 Popular Roofing Solutions

2 Product Dynamics
2.1 Main Product Segments for Roofing
2.1.1 Market Penetration of Each Product Segment by m² of End Market
2.2 Market Penetration of Each Product Segment by End Market
2.3 Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of Each Product Segment
2.4 Recent Trends in Use
2.4.1 Ban of Asbestos?
2.5 Regulations

3 Competition
3.1 Market Structure (Oligopoly, Oligopolistic Competition)
3.1.1 Roofing Manufacturers
3.1.2 Wholesalers/Distributors
3.1.3 House Builders
3.2 Identification of Main Local Manufacturers
3.3 Product Range
3.3.1 Evolution
3.3.2 Interest in Wide Product Range
3.4 Production Capacity
3.4.1 New Entrants

4 Roofing Material Route to Market
4.1 Overview
4.1.1 Route to market of key Players
4.2 Routes by End Market
4.2.1 Non-Residential, Residential New, or Residential Renovation
4.3 National / Regional Distributors (Profile and Role)
4.4 Local Distributors (Profile and Role)
4.4.1 Number of Players
4.5 Main Producers’ Routes to Market
4.5.1 Do producers use integrated wholesalers?
4.5.2 Do producers use integrated branded retail networks?
4.5.3 What are producers’ sales & marketing organization and activities?
4.6 Residential Renovation
4.6.1 Share of Professionally-installed vs DIY
4.6.2 Who is the decision-maker on roofing material, on brand by segment?
4.6.3 What are the dynamics in Distribution?
4.7 Residential Renovation
4.7.1 Share of Professionally-installed vs DIY
4.7.2 Who is the decision-maker on roofing material, on brand by segment?
4.8 Appetence for Adopting Cheap Bitumen Sheet Solution (Distributor /Home Builder/ Installer)
4.8.1 Appetence of Distributors (5 interviews)
4.8.2 Appetence of Major House Builders
4.8.3 Appetence of Installers

5 Pricing & Cost Competitiveness
5.1 Pricing
5.2 Import Duties & Tariffs Applied for these Products
5.2.1 HS Code, Import Duty by product type
5.3 Cost Drivers and Evolution of Raw Materials for Bitumen Sheets/ Shingles
5.3.1 Bitumen
5.4 Imports Classified by Commodity
5.4.2 Cellulose Fiber: Cost, Past Trend, Forecast

6 Appendix 1: Information Sources

Project Status: Awaiting satisfied client to proceed with stage 2 for further due diligence on a company level, especially financial valuation, in preparation for target acquisition.