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IAM nabs veteran Southeast Asia banker from Credit Suisse

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Independent asset manager Sino Suisse has hired a Credit Suisse veteran of Thailand and Vietnam coverage, Asian Private Banker can reveal.

Alex Nicholas Lee recently came to the Singapore-based IAM after eight years at the Swiss private bank. The Monetary Authority of Singapore registry shows his licence at Credit Suisse expired in September 2021.

Sino Suisse has confirmed Lee’s hire and said the firm is to broaden its Greater China-centric clientele in the region, especially in Southeast Asia. It is on track to hire another ten bankers in the next 12 months.

Set up by three former UBS executives in 2017, the IAM currently has approximately US$4 billion client assets under management, which puts it alongside some of the largest players in the space, the firm’s chief operating officer Angela Ong told Asian Private Banker.

Ong highlighted Sino Suisse’ direct network with investment banks and its capabilities of direct sourcing investment products and corporate financing deals from the investment banks. It saves the trouble of having to go through an extra layer of private banking distributors and offers clients more favourable pricing, she added. The IAM’s ecosystem covers 14 investment banks and eight to nine private banks.

Its incumbent CEO Albert Liu was among the trio of founding partners that hailed from UBS, while the two others are no longer with the firm: Ruth Chung is now with Pictet as Greater China group head, and Betty Liu has retired.

As IAMs emerge as the “alternative” to a traditional private banking platform, their model has lured many ex-private bankers to the ranks of rising entrepreneurs. Singaporean regulators have made it easier for IAMs to establish and scale up, Ong pointed out. The intermediaries can receive a “capital market services (CMS) licence” that encompasses the major activities conducted at an IAM.

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