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Poaching not popular at private banks in Japan

Credit Suisse has poached someone from UBS to be its new head of private banking in Japan, but taking senior staff from rivals is still rare in this sector.

The firm set up a private bank early this month and has appointed Junya Tani from UBS Securities Japan, where he was head of wealth management (Reuters).

Credit Suisse is currently hiring private banking staff as it aims to sell more of its existing investment products and services to high net worth individuals. It would not comment on headcount numbers.

Keiichi Morita, a consultant in Hays Banking, says the supply of experienced private bankers is limited in the immature Japanese market, but poaching is still not commonplace.

Bruce Baker, head of search firm Bruce Baker & Co, adds: “Almost every private bank is slowly trying to build their teams. The total talent pool therefore needs to increase.”

It doesn’t help that Japan’s private bankers are usually happy to stay put. “Poaching is hard because private bankers tend to be well looked after, so there’s not much upside in them moving,” he adds.

So where do all the private bankers come from? Baker reckons the local recruitment market is so small that firms often take talent from related sectors and train them up.

Financiers on the private banks’ radar include: high net worth salespeople in Japanese banks; staff in trust banks who deal with wealthy individuals; and employees at small private consulting firms. “This isn’t exactly private banking, but they do have the clients and the sales skills. You have to dig deep to find the right people in Japan,” says Baker.

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