UBS has just taken on a senior banker in Hong Kong as hiring drive continues

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UBS has recruited a senior private banker from Standard Chartered as it continues its Hong Kong hiring drive.

Andrew Lo has joined the Swiss bank as an executive director, according to his public profile. He is primarily focused on the mainland China market, says a headhunter with knowledge of the move.

In May, UBS announced an ambitious new goal of hiring 100 private bankers in Hong Kong over two years.

The hiring of Lo chimes with our predictions at the time that most of these bankers would cover Greater China and that Stan Chart RMs would be among the first to be targeted.

Lo was at Standard Chartered for two years and eight months and prior to that spent more than nine years at the Hong Kong office of Coutts, latterly as an executive director.

In a move that’s rare today, Lo broke into private banking with no experience in the financial services sector. He started his career in 1995 as a sales manager for French energy management company Schneider Electric in Beijing.

After leaving China to obtain an MSc in Management Research (specialising in finance and strategy) from the University of Oxford, Lo moved to Hong Kong in early 2003 and joined HSBC’s private bank. There he was “among the early group of private bankers” covering the offshore China market from Hong Kong, according to his profile.

Private bankers in Asia were much more open to non-banking candidates before the financial crisis.

“There aren’t too many moves these days from the corporate sector into private banking,” says former Merrill Lynch private banker Rahul Sen, now head of wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group. “You need very good client relationship with high-net-worth people to make the move.”

Image credit: chinaface, Getty

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