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Movers & Shakers – March 2021

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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.

Have a move to report? Email us at [email protected].

Suveer ModiKotak Mahindra Bankexecutive directorCredit Suisse Indiasenior RM
Sudipto Sinha Kotak Mahindra Bankhead of sales and co-head of the advisory businessCredit Suisse Indiasenior RM
Chandrima Das Grabhead of wealth managementStandard Charteredglobal head, managed investments
Zhao Yue/general manager, CMB Private BankingChina Merchants Bankgeneral manager, retail finance
Wang Yanrong/general manager, CMB Xi'anChina Merchants Bankgeneral manager, CMB Private Banking
Zhang Dong/head of retail financeChina Merchants Bankhead of wealth platform
Shiladitya Choudhuri/mananing director/managing director, market head of external asset manager & multi family office business
Jensen WeeJulius Baerdirector, business managementIndosuez Wealth Managementsenior director, head of client services
Harpreet SinghJ. Safra Sarasin/Indosuez Wealth Managementsenior director, relationship manager
Steve ZengNoah International (Hong Kong) Limitedchief executive officer//
William MaNoah International (Hong Kong) Limitedchief investment officer//
Adrian ChenUBS AMgeneral manager and legal representativeManulife IMhead of wealth and asset management, China
Gerard SharkeyDBS Hong KongCOO, wealth management and private banking//
Ada Chiu/executive director, consumer banking operationsDBS Hong KongCOO, wealth management and private banking
Brandon HoMorgan Stanley Private Wealth Managementrelationship managerPictetsenior private banker for the Southeast Asia market
Dominic WongFidelity IMhead of intermediary, North AsiaBNY Mellon IMhead of intermediary, Greater China
Sabrina YuAberdeen Standard Investmentsassociate director, institutional salesBNY Mellon IMbusiness development, senior associate
David BrownJ.P. Morgan/CitiAsia Pacific head of client executive and account management for custody and fund services
Payling LeeUBS GWMChina market team head//
Kevin KingCiti PBglobal market manager of Southern mainland CHinaBNP Paribas WMhead of China market
Ulrich KörnerUBSsenior advisorCredit SuisseCEO, Credit Suisse AM
Chirag GandhiIIFL Wealthsenior partnerJulius Baer Indiamanaging director, senior advisor, team head
Manish KhaitanAvendus/Julius Baer India/
Abhinav KumarAvendus/Julius Baer India/
Anand Khatau//Julius Baer Indiamanaging director
Henry ZhangHarvest Global Investmentsportfolio managerLombard Odier Investment Managersportfolio manager
Ashley ChungSchroders/Lombard Odier Investment Managersanalyst and junior PM
Faye GaoHarvest Global Investments/Lombard Odier Investment Managersportfolio manager
Alina DonetsAllianz Global Investors/Lombard Odier Investment Managersportfolio manager
Jenny ChoCiti PB/BNP Paribas WMexecutive director
Tony HuiCiti PB/BNP Paribas WMsenior vice president
Harald Reczek/deputy head of investment solutions and global head of distributionEFGhead of investment solutions
Sanjin Mohorovic/global private banking chief operating officerEFGhead of Latin America region
Renato CohnEFGdeputy CEO and head of investment solutionsBTG Pactual/
Christina Lau//Raffles Family Officemember of independent advisory board
David Chang//Raffles Family Officemember of independent advisory board
Jin MeiFranklin Templetongeneral managerRobecohead of China
Amanda Lin//Robecohead of Institutional Business Development for Greater China
Bruno MorelVP Bank Singaporechief executive officer//
Have a confidential tip? Get in touch [email protected]