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Morning Coffee: What DBS’ Q1 results tell you about where to work at the bank

DBS Q1 results show rise in wealth management income

She knows where to work

If you’re looking for a job in an expanding part of DBS, look no further than wealth management. While all DBS units achieved record quarterly income in the bank’s Q1 results released yesterday, the wealth management segment shot up 41% compared with the same period last year to reach S$365m (US$274m).

DBS wealth management segment: income in S$m

DBS wealth management

Source: DBS Q1 financial performance presentation

These results provide further evidence that DBS is now positioning itself within the elite ranks of Asian private banking. According to Asian Private Banker, DBS’ Asian assets under management (AUM) rose 34% – the highest percentage increase of any bank – to US$73.2bn last year, following its takeover of Societe Generale’s Asian wealth arm in October. The firm is now ranked eighth in Asia by AUM, ahead of banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

The acquisition also boosted DBS’ headcount of relationship managers (RMs) – from 215 in 2013 to 267 last year, a rise of 24%. And DBS is set to further expand its private banking team this year, Tan Su Shan, group head of consumer banking and wealth management, said in February.

All this doesn’t necessarily mean that RM resumes will be flooding into DBS – banks from Credit Suisse to Morgan Stanley have also announced ambitious hiring plans this year and talent remains in short supply. DBS enjoys a key advantage in the job market, however. Its Singaporean clients are especially loyal to it as a local brand, making it harder for its RMs to move to rival firms and easier for the bank to retain them without large bonuses, a headhunter told us last month.

Meanwhile:

Staff at China’s top state-owned banks are quitting in increasing numbers because of cuts to their pay and perks. (Reuters)

Daiwa plans new Asian expansion, but it’s buying brokerages not hiring new staff. (Bloomberg)

Number of family offices in Asia set to double, says Insead. (Bloomberg)

HSBC stocks soar in Hong Kong as bank considers moving its HQ to the city. (South China Morning Post)

Huatai Securities reportedly seeks Hong Kong listing.  (Finance Asia)


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