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Morning Coffee: ANZ set to expand in private banking in Asia?

ANZ to grow its private bank in Asia?

Moving up in private banking

ANZ could potentially be set to hire more private bankers and make it easier for its existing ‘premium bankers’ to move up the ranks. The firm has merged its Asian private banking and wealth units following a review in the region, according to The Australian. Singapore-based Bret Packard will head the combined department, and Kevin Ong and Arjan De Boer, the heads of private banking in Southeast Asia and North Asia respectively, will report to him.

“We are emerging into a new growth phase across private banking in all our countries,” Joyce Phillips, ANZ’s chief of global wealth, wrote in an internal memo seen by The Australian.

ANZ’s ability to expand within the highly competitive Asian private-banking sector depends in part on its ability to develop the type of private bankers who can constantly grow their AUM and revenue. Having a merged department should, in theory, make it more straight forward for ANZ’s premium bankers, who service mass-affluent customers, to plot an internal career path into private banking.

Headhunters say these premium bankers should provide a steady source of new talent for the private bank. DBS, Citi, Credit Suisse, HSBC, UBS have used this tactic to tackle skill shortages in Asian private banking, although some staff find the transition difficult due to more onerous performance targets in private banking. “They will face AUM pressure from day one,” says Clarence Law, a Singapore-based business advisor in private banking.

Attracting experience private bankers from rival firms will be more difficult for ANZ. “It has a strong brand in Asia – but it’s competing for talent not just against global private banks but against regional firms like DBS and Bank of Singapore, which are also expanding,” says another headhunter in Singapore.

Meanwhile:

Calls for SGX to lose its regulatory role as search for new CEO continues. (Reuters)

All 30,000 of ANZ’s jobs in Australia and New Zealand are “flexible” from today, says CEO Mike Smith. (The Australian)

Maybank will “enhance” its business in Singapore and Indonesia, says CEO. (Jakarta Post).

Median pay for fresh grads rises in Singapore. (Asia One)

How a reshuffle in the upper ranks of China’s central bank helped make it more inclined to use interest-rate cuts as a tool to boost the economy. (Wall Street Journal)

It’s not been a great year for Chinese hedge funds so far. (Wall Street Journal)

Bank lending in Singapore fell in January. (Channel News Asia)

Can’t afford a place in Hong Kong? Here’s what HK$7m will buy you abroad. (South China Morning Post)

Learn how to flip burgers if you want to work at the “best of the best” employer in Singapore. (Straits Times)



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