Achieving career success in private banking in Hong Kong doesn’t always take decades – it’s possible to make your mark in your 30s or even late 20s.
We’ve looked at public profiles of relationship managers (RMs) in Hong Kong and identified some who have taken comparatively rapid (and interesting) routes into their current client-facing positions.
Will the private bank that trained you hire you back after you’ve clocked up experience at its competitors? Yes, in the case of Wong. He spent the first three years of his career at UBS, and spent the next six years moving to more senior jobs at four different banks: Standard Chartered, Citi, Julius Baer and Rothschild. He rejoined UBS a client advisor (the firm’s name for relationship manager) only in the past few weeks.
Duangdee manages offshore relationships with Thai ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients for Credit Suisse. Although she’s worked in related fields, this is her first job as an actual private banking RM. She kicked off her finance career at Scotiabank in Toronto where she worked in commercial banking and later as an investment products manager in wealth management. In 2012 Duangdee became a client consultant at Towers Watson’s portfolio advisory practice in Hong Kong, managing relationships with the Thai Government Pension Fund. Credit Suisse saw the value of her relationship-building skills and hired her in December last year.
Yu-Ning Evelyn Tsao
Don’t despair if you’re currently working in a research job, but ultimately want to face clients – Tsao’s career shows that such a move is possible. She worked for four years as an investment consultant at ANZ, providing analysis, research, and portfolio management advisory for the bank’s high-net-worth (HNW) clients – and sometimes joining client calls to help RMs. In 2013, however, she became a private banker herself when she moved to Citi at AVP level.
In private banking, as in investment banking, it’s possible to gain experience at a Chinese firm and then move back to a global player. Ho’s first banking job was at Standard Chartered but in 2011 he joined the HNW division of China International Capital Corporation (CICC). The skills he learnt there were enough for Stan Chart to hire him again in 2014 – this time as an associate director in its private bank. A year ago Ho moved to BNP Paribas, where he specialises in family succession planning, philanthropy advisory and listing advisory.
Yang now works with UHNW clients at Standard Chartered, but she took an atypical path into the sector. Her first full time-role was as chief assistant at the Air Traffic Control Association in Shanghai, and she left after three years for internships at Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Minsheng Banking. After two further years as career development director at the China Europe International Business School she moved to Hong Kong in 2015 and broke into private banking with Stan Chart.
Top-performing mass-affluent wealth managers (who typically service clients with assets under the $1m, $2m or $3m mark depending on the bank) are often poached by talent-short private banks in Hong Kong. Law is a case in point. She forged a five-year career at Citi’s ‘Citigold’ platform before Credit Suisse hired her as an assistant vice president in 2013.
Image credit: Maridav, iStock, Thinkstock