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Morning Coffee: Deutsche aims low, SCB aims high in new Asian hiring drives

Deutsche aims low, SCB aims high in new Asian hiring drives

Different directions

It’s a rare example of synchronistic hiring announcements: Deutsche Bank, better known for its “ultra high net worth” wealth management services (clients with at least $30m in investable assets), yesterday revealed that its private-banking recruitment will be now focus on the ‘poorer’ high net worth segment (assets under $30m). By contrast, Standard Chartered has announced a new appointment suggesting that it’s moving in the opposite direction and setting its sights on Asia’s mega rich.

Stan Chart has recruited Enoch Tan from Royal Bank of Canada as head of UHNW clients for ASEAN – the latest in a string of UHNW hires for the firm. It promoted Alison May Chan as managing director for UHNW in Greater China in January and appointed Rahul Raswant as executive director, UHNW clients, in October last year. Stan Chart’s ultra-rich customers only make up a single-digit percentage of its current client base, but they hold about 40% of its assets under management, suggesting there is vast room for growth.

Tan will help Stan Chart meet both the “corporate and private wealth needs” of its clients, according to an SCB press release. His LinkedIn profile suggests he is well placed to do this – Tan worked as head of debt advisory for Asia at Rothschild between 2009 and 2012. This indicates that – like UBS and Credit Suisse – Stan Chart is trying to hire more private bankers who are able to work with investment banking teams when entrepreneurial UHNW Asian clients want IBD services.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management’s head of Asia franchise development, Mark Smallwood, has told Asian Investor that from next year his firm will be targeting high net worth individuals – a move down the client chain. He says Deutsche has already started hiring relationship managers and wants to recruit more RMs at director and VP-level with books of HNW clients.

Deutsche’s new ambitions, as Smallwood admits, mean it will face competition for clients from established private banks like UBS, Credit Suisse, HSBC and J.P. Morgan. Competition to hire RMs will also be fierce, however. The German firm is still seen as a UHNW specialist and RMs may be reluctant to make a potentially risky move to an up-and-coming platform with the possibility of losing clients in the process.

Meanwhile:

How banks in Hong Kong are reacting to the falling yuan. (South China Morning Post)

Noble Group will consider all options to strengthen its balance sheet. (Straits Times)

DBS executive jailed after keeping credit cards that customers had wanted cancelled then using them to pay for drinks and hostesses at nightclubs. (Asia One)

Maybank always open to looking at M&A opportunities. (The Star)

Bond strategists pressed to earn their keep. (Bloomberg)


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