But there are other, less high profile leaders who are also building up teams in Asia. We’ve asked headhunters to select some of the top bankers currently helping to shape the private banking scene in Singapore and Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a wealth management job in the near future, pay close attention to what these people (listed in no particular order) are doing.
Nomura is trying to establish a reputation as a private bank in Singapore and Hong Kong after combining its Japanese and Asian wealth management platforms last year. Singapore-based Chen, who joined from Morgan Stanley in January, now has a mandate to hire more relationship managers as the firm attempts to build stronger bridges between its corporate finance and private banking arms. “Nomura hasn’t traditionally been that successful outside of Japan – so this is a key job. The market will be watching Chen closely,” says a headhunter in Singapore who asked not to be named.
With a buoyant employment market tempting many private bankers to change jobs, Moo’s career is a textbook example of how to rise to the top internally. He joined Goldman Sachs’ wealth management unit in Singapore as a financial analyst in 1998 and made MD nine years later. Before landing his current regional head job, he held two other senior positions – head of the market solutions group and head of alternative capital markets in Asia. “Moo is a key person to know in Singapore private banking and he’s GS through and through,” says the headhunter.
You don’t necessarily need to have greater China clients to forge a successful career in Hong Kong private banking. Sukh, an Australian who joined ABN’s Hong Kong office in January last year from Deutsche Bank, has built up a team of about 15 RMs, primarily focused on the expatriate market. “Here’s a classic producer-manager – he still runs his own client book while expanding his team and turning it into one of the most profitable at ABN in Asia. He’s a rising star,” says Rahul Sen, a former Merrill Lynch private banker, now head of wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group in Singapore.
Nagendra arrived from Bank of Singapore in March last year where he was global head of the firm’s non-resident Indian (NRI) client sector. Since then Hong Kong-based Nagendra has given boutique bank Sarasin additional clout in this lucrative segment, poaching other bankers from BoS and elsewhere as he builds an NRI team.
Young-Haron was a big hire for RBC in Hong Kong when it poached him from Credit Suisse in 2014 – he was at the Swiss firm for 10 years and was instrumental in building it from a boutique to the second largest player in Asian wealth management. Now leading RBC’s Asian expansion, he also still finds time to maintain and build his own client relationships. “He’s hugely respected in the marketplace but has a huge task – getting RBC to make greater inroads into Asia,” says Sen.
“She’s a serious heavy hitter – a massive revenue generator with ultra-high net worth [UHNW] clients, probably managing $2bn to $3bn in assets,” says Sen. Song joined from Merrill Lynch in 2012, where she was MD of investments, responsible for originating and maintaining UHNW relationships for the China market.
Oey has been with HSBC Private Bank in Singapore since 1999, mainly handling clients in her native Indonesia. “She’s taken a step up this year – moving into a newly created role in Singapore as head of HSBC’s most wealthy clients. A lot of banks are trying to compete in this space, so it shows how much faith HSBC have in her,” says the anonymous headhunter.
An 18-year J.P. Morgan veteran, Richards moved to Deutsche in Singapore in May last year. “She’s been very successful so far. She’s also managed to convince former JPM people to join her – which is always a good sign,” says a second private banking headhunter.
Sheldon Tan has been with DBS for 11 years and is one of the key MDs that Tan Su Shan, the bank’s high-profile head of wealth management, is relying on as she tries to ramp up its asset base and headcount across Asia. Tan manages important clients in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia and has a team of about eight people. “He’s rated in the market as one of DBS' best private bankers,” says the second headhunter.