Singapore banks DBS and UOB have both made significant new hires during the post-bonus recruitment season this quarter.
In a buy-side to sell-side move, UOB has appointed senior asset manager Aaron Tay as a director in international business development. And DBS now has a new Hong Kong head of financial crime and security services, Moon Wang.
Wang comes from Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, where he was an executive director and regional head of financial crime. His move reflects DBS’s increasing ability to poach senior staff from global banks, especially in back and middle-office functions.
“DBS is a strong brand across the region. And quite importantly, he probably won’t be doing late calls to the US four nights a week like he would at Morgan Stanley,” says Richard Fennelly, a lead consultant at G.R.A.C.E. Recruitment in Hong Kong.
DBS is now paying on par with the international banks for governance roles and can offer new joiners large salary increments, he adds.
There is still “strong demand” for senior financial crime specialists in Asia, says Fennelly. “All banks can see their competitors being fined huge amounts for not meeting their AML requirements, so they’re investing more in this area to try to ensure they don’t get in similar trouble.”
Wang himself has been in demand of late. He was a VP at Morgan Stanley until October 2013, when he moved to HSBC as regional head of financial crimes compliance for global banking and markets. In July 2015, he rejoined Morgan Stanley as an ED and then arrived at DBS this month, according to his online profile.
Meanwhile, UOB’s new recruit Tay was a portfolio manager at private equity firm Heritas Capital Management from 2010 to 2015. He then did a 19-month stint as a director at Pont Neuf Capital in Singapore, according to his profile.
As job vacancies in Singapore asset management dry up, Tay’s move to a stable Singapore bank appears well-planned.
“I’m now regularly seeing buy-side people move into the sell-side in Singapore,” says Will Tan, managing partner at search firm Principle Partners in Singapore. “It’s no longer uncommon.”
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