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Morning Coffee: Morgan Stanley and HSBC up the stakes in battle for Asian private bankers

Top-performing private bankers in Asia have a wide range of potential employers to work for – many private banks are increasing their Asian headcounts as they try to capture market share in the world’s fastest growing region for private wealth.

In a job market as candidate-led as Asian private banking, employer brands matter Share on twitter (a lot). If a banker in Asia perceives a problem with a firm’s growth ambitions, they will be much less inclined to jump ship and go through the onerous task of convincing their clients to move with them.

Relief then at Morgan Stanley, whose wealth management division reported stronger results than the firm as a whole – fourth-quarter revenue increased 2.4% from a year earlier. Meanwhile, for 2014 as a whole, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management saw an 82% rise in clients with $10m in assets and more, and a 35% increase in clients with assets of between $1m and $10m, reports Forbes.

As we noted last week, US firms are offering the highest bonus percentages among private banks in Asia. “Given this and their revenue in wealth management, I would expect Morgan Stanley to remain attractive to candidates looking to move post bonus,” says a Singapore-based headhunter.

Separately, HSBC has reinforced the importance of Asia to its wealth management business by naming Christopher Marquis as global head of private wealth solutions, reports Finance Asia. Despite now taking on an international role – he was previously regional head of the division – Marquis will continue to be based in Hong Kong.


Wall Street banks cut 50,000 jobs in 2014. (New York Post)

The Fair Consideration Framework has succeeded in heating up the market for local talent in Singapore, says Robert Walters survey. (Straits Times)

How key is China to the future expansion of DBS? Very, it seems. (Motley Fool)

Why shares in Chinese brokerages are falling more in Hong Kong than they are on the mainland. (Bloomberg)

Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect can cope with current market volatility, says HKEx chief. (South China Morning Post)

Why too many of Stan Chart’s corporate clients aren’t using its private bank. (Barrons)

Currency war not likely in Asia, says Stan Chart economist. (Business Times)

Nearly a quarter of all cross-border payments in China last year were settled in yuan. (Reuters)

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