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Daily Dispatches – Singapore AUM catching up to Switzerland

Catching up to Swizterland with AUM

Catching up to Swizterland with AUM

The Financial Times reports that Singapore’s rise as a global centre for managing money has advanced significantly with assets under management rising by nearly a quarter last year. The Lion City is rapidly catching up to Switzerland as a wealth management hub.

In a report out Tuesday, released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, funds managed in the city state rose 22% to SGD$1.63 (USD$1.3 trillion) from SGD$1.34 trillion the year before. In comparison, there were USD$2.9 trillion of assets under management in Switzerland last year, according to the Swiss Bankers Association.

Asia was the biggest destination for investments from funds handled out of Singapore, accounting for 70% of all assets under management, up from 60% the previous year. Assets managed by hedge funds rose almost 8% to USD$77.5 billion from the previous year.
The FT says that Switzerland’s private banking industry is suffering from a damaging row with the US over some Swiss banks’ alleged complicity in tax evasion by US citizens.

NAB nabs BofA big gun

Bloomberg reports that National Australia Bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Australia Chief Executive Craig Drummond as its group executive for finance and strategy.

Drummond will join NAB by the end of this year and replaces Mark Joiner who retires after seven years with the lender.  Bloomberg says that Chief Executive Cameron Clyne’s decision to change senior executives at the lender is part of his plan to boost its Australian business and shrink its UK unit.

HK finance juniors grumpy over pay

Recruitment firm Ambition’s half year report for the the second part of 2013 reveals that two thirds of finance workers in Hong Kong who claim their pay is not market related are in junior management roles or lower.

The good news is that of the people who think their pay is in line with the market, nearly half are in roles at the director level or above.

But bonus payouts in 2013 failed to satisfy, with  57% of employees stating that it fell short of their expectations.

Merchants gets the nod

China Merchants Bank, the mainland’s sixth-biggest lender by assets, has secured Beijing’s approval to raise about 20 billion yuan (USD$3.3 billion)  via through a long-awaited rights issue, becoming the first mainland bank to get the approval to replenish capital following a credit crunch late last month, according to the South China  Morning Post.

Asia-Pac dominates 2013 most expensive cities ranking

Mercer, the global consulting firm, says that Luanda, Angola, was the most expensive city for expatriates to live in 2013.

People’s Daily reports that four cities in the Asia-Pacific region were in the top ten most expensive – Tokyo came in at number three, Singapore in fifth position, Hong Kong in sixth, and Sydney the joint-ninth most costly city (with Bern, in Switzerland)

Switzerland remains the most expensive country, with three of its cities – Geneva, Zurich and Bern capturing seventh, eighth and ninth position respectively.

New hire for Deutsche Bank in Thailand

Finance Asia reports that Phumchai Kambhato is to leave UBS and join Deutsche Bank in Thailand in a new dual role that will make him responsible for investment banking and corporate finance. This marks the second senior departure from UBS this month.

The bank says that it may look to fill those vacant roles, but it has sufficient people in the region to operate efficiently.

Not bad work if you can get it

Huffington Post quotes a Bloomberg story that reports that the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000% since 1950.

The Huffington Post article says that this was not the original intention of lawmakers, who tried to curb executive in the 1990s, only for it to have the opposite effect.

From 1936 through 1950, executive pay barely changed and comprised a salary and a bonus. From about 1950, CEO pay started to include a small amount of stocks and options in the company.

That trend grew more noticeable over the next 40 years, only to start rising exponentially during the 1990s, prompted by a change to the US tax code that capped deductions for executive pay at USD$1 million.

A loophole in the change allowed “performance-based” income (pay packages like stocks that are directly tied to company’s share performance, earnings or market share) to exceed the $1 million limit, and this led to companies compensating CEOs outside of their base salary.

This year’s best paid CEO is Philippe Dauman from Viacom whose salary rose 149% to USD$84.5 million.

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