Awards for Distinction 2011 – Private Banker of the Year


Kathryn Shih

Kathryn Shih

Kathryn Shih
Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific
UBS Wealth Management

The nominees for the Asian Private Banker Awards for Distinction – Private Banker of the Year Award are some of the finest practitioners of the art and craft of private banking. They are all, without exception, industry stalwarts recognised for the depth of their experience, the breadth of their industry expertise and the loyalty they inspire in clients and colleagues alike. A handful of these exceptional women and men – the best of the best – have distinguished themselves on all three counts.

In our search for these outstanding representatives, we reached out to stakeholders across the industry – private bankers, product providers, veteran bankers as well as clients. An overwhelming majority of them believe that Kathryn embodies the values the private banking industry would like to be known for – a fierce loyalty to her organisation and her clients, a deliberate and consistent focus on mentoring senior bankers and the fortitude to survive the down-cycles.

Kathryn joined UBS in 1987 – in an industry characterised by its alarmingly high attrition rate she immediately distinguishes herself for the loyalty she has shown to her bank and ultimately her clients. In turn she has fostered a culture of constancy at UBS and the bank’s most senior leaders in Asia are well into their second decade with the bank. Kathryn has also managed to carve a distinct niche for herself that draws in part from her role at the helm of the bank but also in large measure from the very particular mix of enthusiasm and energy with which she executes this role. As one veteran banker noted during the nomination process for the awards, “Kathryn has done with a Swiss brand in Asia what many of her peers have tried but failed: made it almost Asian.”

Since 2011 was a difficult year for UBS, as it was for the industry as a whole, that the bank’s wealth management franchise in Asia has emerged relatively unscathed is a testament to the trust the brand and its senior-most ambassador in Asia have built with clients.

“At UBS, my horizons have broadened, not least because I have had the privilege of working with colleagues of unparalleled calibre who have provided unwavering support over the years,” says Kathryn with characteristic modesty.” In light of this, I regard the award as recognition of the entire Wealth Management team in Asia Pacific.”