Hong Kong IFA has China-sized ambitions

Bridgewater is taking on private banks by targeting richer clients and establishing a regional footprint.

The staid world of independent financial advisors in Hong Kong is getting a stir. Bridgewater, a two-year old boutique investment advisory, is aggressively chasing high-net worth clients and expanding beyond its Hong Kong base into China.

Stephen Gollop, its CEO, says the IFA has clients ranging from those contributing a few thousand Hong Kong dollars a month, to multi-millionaires.

To get the kind of service we offer at a private bank, a client would need more than $5 million, Gollop says. Anything less, a private bank will give poor service. The model is Merrill Lynch, or Godwin's in the UK, with a scalable, corporate structure that can provide top...

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