As 1Q21 draws to a close, the region’s private banking hiring scene is feeling a pickup in momentum that brings the level of activities far above this time last year. Banks are not only hiring replacements, but also expanding headcounts, with all signs in the market pointing to an imminent return to normalcy.
“Banks are already expanding and will definitely increase their headcounts in 2021,” Sid Sibal, regional director, Hong Kong, Hudson, told Asian Private Banker. “On the candidate side, most of them are playing safe due to job security concerns during the pandemic.”
But the cautious mode may soon shift. After a largely muted bonus season (with many payouts lower than 2018 levels) and the reining in of the pandemic, private bankers will be on the lookout for fresh opportunities. Sibal noted that discussions are already taking place face-to-face between banks and potential candidates.
In the North Asia region, PBs are eyeing the vast wealth created through IPOs by Chinese companies on the Hong Kong market. “They prefer RMs with a Greater Bay Area HNW/UHNW book — typically mainland Chinese RMs with strong local connections. Most of the banks are looking for more senior RMs with around six to ten years of experience to bring in AUM for them,” said Sibal.
At the same time, March hiring in Singapore is almost “business as usual” compared to normal times. The banks are zeroing in on Singapore-based bankers with local client books while stepping up their game in Southeast Asia markets.
The current preference for local bankers is in part a “temporary fix” for most banks to grow their assets in the region, argued Pierre Pineau, director Southeast Asia & head of Thailand, Funds Partnership Asia. Pineau told Asian Private Banker that a “back to normal” situation will arrive when travel restrictions are lifted in the region — likely in 2022.
“Within the Southeast Asia market, major banks have been eyeing Thailand and the Philippines. Indonesia has been on the radar of several boutique players, but this market has not stood out as their top priority.”
Bankers with Thailand books are in high demand, with the onshore Thai market becoming crowded with new joiners — the likes of HSBC and Nomura. But Pineau admitted some players in Thailand need more time before they deliver results in the form of AUM.
“We see a lot of Chinese single-family offices coming to Singapore, and there has been growing demand from them for senior management functions, such as CIOs and COOs,” he added. “We expect the momentum to be sustained. These players will potentially entice ex-private bankers to join them.”
The aftermath of Greensill, Archegos
In the wake of the suspension of its Greensill supply chain finance funds and its US$4.7 billion write-down linked to hedge fund Archegos Capital, Credit Suisse may have to deal with the reverberating implications on the confidence of its clients and its bankers.
The bank suggested that it is leaning towards “letting clients foot the bill for eventual losses in funds”, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. Out of the US$10 billion fund it is liquidating, it has thus far returned US$3.1 billion to clients.
The problem could be twofold, a person familiar with the matter told Asian Private Banker. Credit Suisse bankers whose clients have second thoughts about where to put their assets may want to look for alternative opportunities; and bankers who are about to join Credit Suisse might reconsider their decision.
As of now, many bankers at Credit Suisse are busy reassuring clients, after recent events have raised questions about the bank’s risk framework. The expected losses resulting from the twin incidents will certainly take a toil on bankers’ wallet share. The bottom line is: bankers will only move if their clients initiate the move — and whether that will happen remains to be seen.
Asian Private Banker‘s Movers & Shakers table provides a monthly snapshot of the people moves that mattered most to the region’s wealth management industry. Click an individual’s name to see the story and context behind each move.
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|WHO||LEAVES||PREVIOUS TITLE||JOINS||NEW TITLE|
|Suveer Modi||Kotak Mahindra Bank||executive director||Credit Suisse India||senior RM|
|Sudipto Sinha||Kotak Mahindra Bank||head of sales and co-head of the advisory business||Credit Suisse India||senior RM|
|Chandrima Das||Grab||head of wealth management||Standard Chartered||global head, managed investments|
|Zhao Yue||/||general manager, CMB Private Banking||China Merchants Bank||general manager, retail finance|
|Wang Yanrong||/||general manager, CMB Xi'an||China Merchants Bank||general manager, CMB Private Banking|
|Zhang Dong||/||head of retail finance||China Merchants Bank||head of wealth platform|
|Shiladitya Choudhuri||/||mananing director||/||managing director, market head of external asset manager & multi family office business|
|Jensen Wee||Julius Baer||director, business management||Indosuez Wealth Management||senior director, head of client services|
|Harpreet Singh||J. Safra Sarasin||/||Indosuez Wealth Management||senior director, relationship manager|
|Steve Zeng||Noah International (Hong Kong) Limited||chief executive officer||/||/|
|William Ma||Noah International (Hong Kong) Limited||chief investment officer||/||/|
|Adrian Chen||UBS AM||general manager and legal representative||Manulife IM||head of wealth and asset management, China|
|Gerard Sharkey||DBS Hong Kong||COO, wealth management and private banking||/||/|
|Ada Chiu||/||executive director, consumer banking operations||DBS Hong Kong||COO, wealth management and private banking|
|Brandon Ho||Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management||relationship manager||Pictet||senior private banker for the Southeast Asia market|
|Dominic Wong||Fidelity IM||head of intermediary, North Asia||BNY Mellon IM||head of intermediary, Greater China|
|Sabrina Yu||Aberdeen Standard Investments||associate director, institutional sales||BNY Mellon IM||business development, senior associate|
|David Brown||J.P. Morgan||/||Citi||Asia Pacific head of client executive and account management for custody and fund services|
|Payling Lee||UBS GWM||China market team head||/||/|
|Kevin King||Citi PB||global market manager of Southern mainland CHina||BNP Paribas WM||head of China market|
|Ulrich Körner||UBS||senior advisor||Credit Suisse||CEO, Credit Suisse AM|
|Chirag Gandhi||IIFL Wealth||senior partner||Julius Baer India||managing director, senior advisor, team head|
|Manish Khaitan||Avendus||/||Julius Baer India||/|
|Abhinav Kumar||Avendus||/||Julius Baer India||/|
|Anand Khatau||/||/||Julius Baer India||managing director|
|Henry Zhang||Harvest Global Investments||portfolio manager||Lombard Odier Investment Managers||portfolio manager|
|Ashley Chung||Schroders||/||Lombard Odier Investment Managers||analyst and junior PM|
|Faye Gao||Harvest Global Investments||/||Lombard Odier Investment Managers||portfolio manager|
|Alina Donets||Allianz Global Investors||/||Lombard Odier Investment Managers||portfolio manager|
|Jenny Cho||Citi PB||/||BNP Paribas WM||executive director|
|Tony Hui||Citi PB||/||BNP Paribas WM||senior vice president|
|Harald Reczek||/||deputy head of investment solutions and global head of distribution||EFG||head of investment solutions|
|Sanjin Mohorovic||/||global private banking chief operating officer||EFG||head of Latin America region|
|Renato Cohn||EFG||deputy CEO and head of investment solutions||BTG Pactual||/|
|Christina Lau||/||/||Raffles Family Office||member of independent advisory board|
|David Chang||/||/||Raffles Family Office||member of independent advisory board|
|Jin Mei||Franklin Templeton||general manager||Robeco||head of China|
|Amanda Lin||/||/||Robeco||head of Institutional Business Development for Greater China|
|Bruno Morel||VP Bank Singapore||chief executive officer||/||/|