Ong Yeng Fang, managing director and head, UOB Private Bank shares her views with Asian Private Banker in the ‘Final Word’, a ten-part series where the industry’s leaders share their thoughts and opinions on key issues around industry trends, business performance, investment solutions, regulations and compliance, and technology.
Industry Trends | What is the state of Asia’s talent pool and did your firm pay significantly higher for new talent? What is your view on private banking talent development in Asia?
Finding the right talent is always a challenge. Other than hiring experienced and senior relationship managers from the industry, we also identify young and bright potential graduates and train them under our Management Associate Programme. We have also established a process of identifying and grooming top talents from other client-facing business segments within the bank and preparing them for roles within UOB Private Bank.
All of our relationship managers are put through a rigorous training programme which keeps them up to date on industry, regulatory, and product developments. These inside and out approaches have enabled us to more than double the number of private bankers at UOB over the last four years.
Business Performance | In the midst of what has been construed as an increasingly difficult macroeconomic environment, how do you think the private banking and asset management industry will perform in 2019? Will it be a year to separate the wheat from the chaff?
One core investment theme for 2018 was investing under mature economic cycle conditions. With the US Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy and other central banks expected to follow suit in 2019, a more volatile market environment is not unexpected. Recent events including Sino-US trade tensions, and pockets of stress in emerging markets are heightening these uncertainties. We are working with some of our clients to reduce risks though most are staying the course. While volatility is expected to increase, there are still some selected opportunities in the financial markets. We have been guiding clients to rebalance their portfolios away from risk areas, to focus on quality, and to advocate for a more diversified portfolio that is less correlated with traditional assets.
Meet 2018’s industry leaders in the full round up of of Asian Private Banker‘s the Final Word 2018.