Standard Chartered has its sights set on some 60 Barclays private bankers in Asia who have just joined Bank of Singapore.
About 10 Barclays relationship managers – mainly based in Hong Kong – moved to Stand Chart in October ahead of the BoS takeover of their firm’s Asian wealth business.
“But the Barclays RMs who stayed put and transferred across to Bank of Singapore now have a standing invite from Stand Chart in Singapore and Hong Kong,” says a source with knowledge of both banks. “They have options; they’re in a strong position.”
As we’ve already reported, Stan Chart is current among the most “aggressive” recruiters in Asian private banking.
Ex-Barclays bankers are prime targets because Didier Von Daeniken, Stan Chart’s Singapore-based global private banking head, was himself from Barclays and only moved to SC in March this year.
Von Daeniken then recruited his North Asia and Southeast Asia heads – Vivian Chan and Srinivas Siripurapu respectively – from his old firm.
“Barclays RMs are very familiar with Stan Chart’s leadership – that’s one of the main reasons some came on board in October,” says Liu San Li, a former Coutts private banker, now client director in private wealth management at search firm EMA Partners in Singapore.
Tempting them to leave their new home at Bank of Singapore may be more difficult, however, says former Merrill Lynch private banker Rahul Sen, now head of wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group.
OCBC, Bank of Singapore’s parent company, transferred a respectable 75% of Barclays’ assets under management and it is in no mood to see its new bankers walk out the door. “In terms of RM retention, BoS is playing it extremely well, despite external pressures,” says Sen.
“Importantly, it’s kept the Barclays teams separate for now so they don’t perceive their client base to be under threat,” he adds. “Even though they cover some of the same markets – like Indonesia, non-resident India and greater China – there’s not much client overlap.”
One thing Bank of Singapore (and local rival DBS, which is acquiring ANZ’s Asian wealth business) appears not be doing is paying above the odds to keep its new bankers on board.
“Retention packages during mergers are likely to be less attractive than previously, given private banks’ higher operating costs now,” says Josie Ling, a private banking consultant at search firm Eban. “The premiums for RMs moving from Merrill Lynch to Julius Baer in 2012 were higher than those in today’s takeover deals, for example.”
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