Less than two months ago, Credit Suisse revealed its grand design for Asian private banking. The Swiss firm is going to add more than 270 new relationship managers (RMs) in Asia and it wants them to sell more investment banking products to entrepreneurial clients. UBS’s private bank has pursued a similar cross-selling strategy to business owners in Asia for the past few years as a way of maximising revenues in a sector where profit margins are tightening.
Now Morgan Stanley is set to expand its headcount in Asian private banking – and its wealth management business in the region is already embedded in its institutional securities group. The bank believes that the wealth of rich Asian clients is rarely divorced from their business fortunes, Ronald Ong, Morgan Stanley’s chairman and chief executive for Southeast Asia, told the Business Times.
In other words, just like at UBS and Credit Suisse, if you want to work as a private banker at Morgan Stanley in Asia you need to know a lot of entrepreneurs and you need to sell them business-related (i.e. high-value) products.
Ong did not outline hiring figures, but he did tell the Business Times that the firm would expand its Asian wealth management operations more quickly than in the past and that it would set up a new China desk in Singapore. Between 2013 and 2014 Morgan Stanley’s Asian RM headcount actually fell by 35 – from this low base, Ong’s mission to speed up recruitment may not be as challenging as it appears.
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Healthy outlook for finance sector jobs in Hong Kong. (South China Morning Post)
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