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Morning Coffee: Yes, inflated salaries are key to hiring in Asia, admits senior banking exec

Inflated salaries are key to hiring in Asia, admits senior banking boss

The money's big

Countless private banks have talked up their plans to hire more relationship managers in Asia this year – from Canada’s BMO (which has just 20 RMs in the region), to UBS (which employs around 1,200). And some executives – such as Francois Monnet, COO of private banking Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse – have even conceded that talent shortages are making hiring challenging.

But few bosses have admitted that offering ever larger pay packets is a key way of overcoming the dearth of RMs in Asia. That’s what makes comments from Claude Haberer, head of Pictet’s wealth management business in Asia, so refreshing

“Those who make it in the Asian market are those who are willing to invest significantly,” Haberer told Reuters. “There is definitely an issue of minimum size, below which you just cannot pay the entry ticket.”

Headhunters we’ve spoken with recent agree with Haberer. Although there are downsides to clinching an inflated salary – more revenue pressure chief among them – private bankers in Asia do typically push for pay rises of 20% or more when joining new firms, according to headhunters. RMs aren’t just trying their luck because talent shortages boost their bargaining power, they are also seeking compensation for some of their clients choosing not to move to the new bank.

UBS and Credit Suisse, however, are exceptions to the pay-rise trend, preferring to lure RMs with the strength of their product platforms.

Meanwhile:

Slew of top compliance hires at Standard Chartered. (Wall Street Journal)

Noble Group is looking to cut 16% of its global workforce. (Financial Times)

Former OCBC chairman Lee Seng Wee dies aged 85. (Straits Times)

Nomura names John Goff as global structured products head. (Finance Asia)

Take pride in your work and have fun, DBS chairman tells employees. (Straits Times).

Bad loans on the rise at China’s commercial banks in second quarter. (South China Morning Post)


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