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Morning Coffee: Asian banker exodus continues at Standard Chartered

Asian banker exodus continues at Standard Chartered

On the way out

Standard Chartered continues to axe staff in Asia as it implements its plans to cut 15,000 jobs globally. A “steady stream” of people are leaving the firm in Singapore this month, according to a recruiter in the city state who asked not to be named.

As we predicted when the cuts were first announced in early November as part of CEO Bill Winters restructuring plans, costly investment bankers now appear to be among the first to lose their jobs. Reuters is reporting, quoting anonymous sources close to the firm, that Stan Chart has recently culled at least 12 oil and gas advisory banking roles, most of which were based in Singapore. Four Singapore-based managing directors in the global energy M&A team were also let go back in July.

Stan Chart’s energy bankers were particularly vulnerable on two fronts. First, the fall in oil prices has helped to dry up M&A opportunities across the sector. More fundamentally, Stan Chart is moving away from advisory banking and relying more on revenues generated by selling forex-hedging products used in M&A transactions, according to Reuters.

“The model of pure advice doesn’t fit with Standard Chartered’s new scheme of things. It’s an expensive proposition,” said one of the Reuters sources. Stan Chart M&A bankers advising on other industries now await their fate. The Asia-focused bank ranks outside the top-10 in Asian M&A deals this year, according to Dealogic.


How Standard Chartered is shaking up its wealth division. (Asian investor)

RBS employees in India may soon be working for DBS. (Bloomberg)

Piquant Capital is shutting its Singapore quantitative hedge fund. (Straits Times)

It’s not all about expansion for Singaporean banks in China. (Business Times)

Time for banks to get more serious about fintech. (Finance Asia)

New banking job opportunities in…Myanmar. (Straits Times)

What BlackRock is buying in China. (WSJ)

It’s not only bankers who get bonuses in Hong Kong. (HR Online)

Image credit: moodboard, Thinkstock

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