HSBC’s latest senior hire shows where its real Asian recruitment priorities are

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HSBC’s latest senior hire shows where its real Asian recruitment priorities are

HSBC’s private bank in Singapore has hired Doreen Tan from UOB, as its Asian wealth management hiring drive shows no signs of abating during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tan is an HSBC director and private banker to ultra-high net worth (UHNW) clients in Singapore and Southeast Asia, according to her LinkedIn profile. She worked for UOB for about two years, covering the same region and clients.

Asian private banking is a recruitment priority for HSBC even as it makes thousands of retrenchments in Western markets. As we reported in March, HSBC plans to recruit 500 private banking and wealth management staff in Asia by 2022, including an undisclosed but significant number of Hong Kong and Singapore-based private bankers (relationship managers) such as Tan.

This growth follows HSBC’s recruitment last year. Its headcount of Asian RMs increased 19.2% year-on-year to reach 645 at the end of 2019, the highest organic rise of any top-10 bank in the region, according to Asian Private Banker.

Her UHNW focus makes Tan especially appealing to HSBC. Last month Hong Kong-based Greg Hingston, regional head of wealth and personal banking for APAC, told Reuters that HSBC wants to grow its market share in this segment. HSBC set up a new Hong Kong-based unit to serve UHNW clients in March last year.

Tan started her career in 2008 on Citi’s management associate programme and worked for the US bank in Singapore for about seven years, four of which were spent as a wealth advisor within the global markets unit. She was with Standard Chartered’s private bank between 2016 and 2018 as an investment advisor before she joined UOB.

While private banking contributes a fairly minor proportion of HSBC’s overall profit, it is becoming more profitable and more important to the firm’s plans under CEO Noel Quinn, which involve a renewed focus on high-growth Asian markets at the expense of the US and Europe. Profit before tax for the first quarter of 2020 tumbled 48% year-on-year at HSBC, but Asian profit in private banking increased by the same percentage to $144m.

Image credit: unsplash

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