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ANZ expands in Japan

ANZ is expanding its Japan operations. In a move to broaden its wealth management services, the Australian bank recently opened a Nagoya sub-branch, adding to its existing Tokyo and Osaka branches.

Robert Bell, ANZ Japan’s CEO, says the move is aimed at tapping into Japan’s ageing, cash-positive population by offering wealthy Japanese alternative investment opportunities. It also means ANZ will be hiring.

“We’ve almost doubled our headcount in Japan over the last two and a half years and recently had to expand our Marunouchi office space. Now we are expecting to hire an additional 10 people in the retail space, in Osaka, Tokyo and Nagoya, over the next 12 months,” says Bell.

So what kind of talent is ANZ after? Bell says the firm is taking a cautious approach to its hiring; he wants people who have a successful sales record, but who can also demonstrate a passion for serving customers.

And he adds that candidates will need to have native-level Japanese-language skills to match the language requirements of the majority of ANZ’s customers in Japan.

It might, however, take time to find the right staff. Iwona Bancerek, senior consultant at CDS consulting, says Japan is suffering from a shortage of available A-grade wealth management talent.

“Personal wealth management success comes down to one thing; attracting skilled and experienced relationship managers with strong market connections. These people are tough to find – there aren’t many of them on the market – and because of the very conservative nature of their business, they are unlikely to change jobs easily,” says Bancerek.

In addition to relationship managers, Bancerek says firms following ANZ’s lead might also be on the lookout for additional staff in support functions, such as compliance, IT, order execution, and advisory and research. In the current climate, these roles should be fairly easy to fill.

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