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Morning Coffee: New entrant looks to hire up to 40 bankers across Asia

looks to hire up to 40 bankers across Asia

Maybank: trying to grow

It only opened its private banking unit 18 months ago, but Maybank is now ready to ramp up its headcount in Singapore and Greater China.

Maybank Private Wealth is “aggressively hiring relationship managers [RMs] across its Asian offices to add to the 40 it already has”, reports Asian Investor. The firm’s “sweet spot” headcount target is 60 to 80 RMs, says Alvin Lee, group head of private wealth management for Maybank.

Unlike rivals DBS and Citi, Maybank has not added a timescale to its expansion plans – this is probably just as well. The firm’s brand in private banking isn’t strong enough to be an immediate drawcard for RMs in a talent-short job market. In 2014 there were over 20 private banks with more assets under management and larger RM headcounts in Asia than Maybank, according to Asian Private Banker. Recruitment will take time.

Lee says some of the new hires will be based in Greater China, but Maybank’s expansion will be concentrated on Southeast Asia, in particular Singapore, the firm’s hub for private banking. This regional focus could make Maybank an appealing destination for RMs with a strong Southeast Asian client book looking to escape the bureaucracy of larger private banks. Priority banking RMs from the likes of Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered wanting to step up into private banking could be another source of talent.

Meanwhile:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch names Chris Gammons and Alex To as co-heads of Asia-Pacific investment banking (Reuters).

Singapore economy constrained by labour policies, strong currency, says Citi strategist. (Straits Times)

Singapore’s search for talent spurs wages even as jobs fall. (Asia One)

Alibaba’s financial affiliate has launched an internet bank. (Reuters)

Bank of China issues S$500m Silk Road bonds in Singapore. (Today)

HSBC ends tie-up with Markit to produce key China index. (South China Morning Post)

Westpac takes women to the top. (AFR)


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