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Paltry Asian bonuses expose Deutsche Bank to UBS poaching raids

UBS Asia

Meagre bonus payments at Deutsche Bank may help trigger further departures from its private bank in Asia, with UBS the likely beneficiary.

Deutsche has reduced bonuses for its relationship managers in Hong Kong and Singapore as part of the bonuses cuts affecting its senior employees globally, according to sources with knowledge of the bank.

“The private bankers aren’t happy that their bonuses are down,” says former Merrill Lynch RM Rahul Sen, now head of wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group. “They feel it’s not their fault – it’s not their part of the business that’s causing Deutsche’s current problems.”

But unlike many of their investment banking counterparts, Deutsche’s RMs in Asia have options at other banks.

While Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and Standard Chartered are tipped to hire the most RMs in Asia this year, it’s actually UBS which is the most likely new home for anyone who leaves Deutsche.

Last month Ravi Raju, Deutsche’s former APAC head of wealth management, joined UBS as co-head of its global ultra-high net worth business in Asia Pacific. Anurag Mahesh, global head of key client partners and coverage head for APAC at Deutsche, has also moved to UBS as head of the global family office group in Asia Pacific.

“Raju has got more than 30 seats to fill in his team,” says a Singapore-based headhunter with knowledge of UBS. “It’s not a question of whether some of these will be filled by Deutsche bankers this year – it’s a given that they will be.”

Sen adds: “He didn’t inherit a team at UBS, he’s building one, and the best place to look is Deutsche because many people there like him and feel loyal to him.”

Raju also has history when it comes to convincing former colleagues to follow him. “When he went to Deutsche from Citi in 2007 he brought along about 35 Citi bankers,” says Sen. “His track record of hiring and retaining people, and growing his business is excellent.”

“And now that their bonuses have been disappointing, there’s an extra incentive for RMs to leave Deutsche. UBS also provides the kind of large platform that Deutsche RMs are used to, with good access to structured products, IPOs and the like,” says Sen.


Image credit: grandriver, Getty

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