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Standard Chartered’s Asian hiring spree that wasn’t

The Standard Chartered Asian hiring spree that wasn’t

Standard Chartered has so far not been able to hire as many ex-Barclays private bankers in Asia as it would have liked, say headhunters.

Bank of Singapore acquired the Asian wealth unit of Barclays – and about 60 of its bankers – in November 2016. Prior to that, several senior Barclays bankers moved to Stan Chart, most notably Didier Von Daeniken, Stan Chart’s Singapore-based global private banking head, who joined in March 2016.

Von Daeniken then recruited his North Asia and Southeast Asia heads – Vivian Chan and Srinivas Siripurapu respectively – from Barclays. And in October 2016 about 10 Barclays RMs joined Chan’s team in Hong Kong.

Recruiters and Stan Chart insiders told us last year that this was only the start of the story and that Stan Chart would try to recruit more former Barclays RMs in 2017.

But despite Stan Chart’s efforts, most of the Barclays crew have stayed on at Bank of Singapore.

“SCB wanted a lot more of the Barclays guys, but the vast majority are still with BoS,” says a headhunter with knowledge of the banks. “The Barclays bankers at BoS can see that their old colleagues, now at Stan Chart, haven’t really been able to impose a ‘Barclays culture’ at Stan Chart, so there’s now less incentive for them to move there too.”

“Barclays bankers have a more aggressive management and sales style and were used to ruling the roost at their own firm. Stan Chart won’t let them do this – it’s massive in Asia and isn’t the kind of bank you go in and change overnight,” says the headhunter. “Barclays RMs are entrepreneurial, so BoS suits them better because it’s a more entrepreneurial environment than Stan Chart.”

Still, Stan Chart is expanding its private bank in Asia. Earlier this month it recruited Jack Wu and Pauline Ko, from HSBC and Deutsche Bank respectively, as Hong Kong-based MDs covering Greater China.

The firm has hired more than 50 experienced private bankers and advisers since the final quarter of 2016.

“SCB has a number of strong points for RMs, but the main one is that – for cross-selling – it has private banking, corporate banking and investment banking all under one umbrella,” says Liu San Li, an ex-Coutts private banker, now head of banking at search firm IGS Asia in Singapore.

Image credit: gmutlu, Getty

Comments (3)

  1. To say “Barclays RMs are entrepreneurial, so BoS suits them better because it’s a more entrepreneurial environment than Stan Chart.” is a serious understatement. The culture at SCB has gone to the extreme end of compliance, governance and micro-management.

    Their last intake of 200 most senior hires globally comprised 150 people in compliance or governance roles. It is hardly an organisation where entrepreneurial and innovative thinking will survive, let alone flourish. Combined with the arrogant leadership style from London, it is no wonder they are struggling in Asia. As somebody once told me, SCB stands for Superior Colonial Bank – ANZ and DBS made the right decision not to acquire when they had the chance and that should speak volumes.

  2. By the way moderators, do you ever post comments that are in the slightest way critical – even if they promote discussion?

  3. SCB doesn’t have an IBD. They closed down ages ago. they have a mere skeleton left, if you consider than an investment bank.

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