In one of the worst-kept secrets in Singapore banking circles, Deutsche Bank has finally confirmed the hiring of former J.P. Morgan investment banker Philip Lee as chief country officer for Singapore and vice-chairman for Southeast Asia.
Lee left the US bank last month amid strong rumors that he was Deutsche bound. “Lee is a really heavy hitter; he can pick up the phone and call anyone in Singapore, and almost anyone in Southeast Asia,” a Singapore headhunter told us at the time.
His appointment is a coup for Deutsche, a firm that has suffered some high-profile departures recently, including its head of corporate and investment banking, Loh Boon Chye, who was hired by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
It also shows that a European bank like Deutsche can still take talent from a US rival, despite new EU compensation rules that put a cap on bonuses. But recruiters say Lee’s hiring is a one-off example of a senior banking being poached for his strong client networks. It doesn’t point to a general recovery in investment banking recruitment in Singapore.
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