Citi to hire in Singapore as it opens new office with a “biophilic design”

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Citi to hire in Singapore as it opens new office with a “biophilic design”

Citi is set to recruit more staff for its high-tech “wealth hub” in Singapore, which opens in December. The announcement of the new office comes as finance professionals slowly return to their desks following Monday’s easing of some Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic.

About 300 existing relationship managers, wealth advisors and product specialists will move to the four-story office at 268 Orchard Road. Citi will “look to hire more” of these professionals in the “next few years”, a spokesperson told us, without providing an exact timeframe. The bank wants to achieve double-digit growth in market share and number of clients in the wealth segment.

Citi is touting the wealth hub’s “biophilic design”, an architectural concept aimed at increasing occupant connectivity to the natural environment. The open plan-office, set within the building’s glass-lined atrium, is heavy on plants and features a “lush thriving indoor conservatory” and “garden pods” that serve as client meeting rooms.

Launching a glamorous new office is not the most obvious way to attract talent during a pandemic. But over the longer term, recruiters in Singapore say it will help Citi to stay competitive in a wealth management job market that is suffering from chronic skill shortages.

“An office like this will be attractive to RM candidates. I think Citi will target RMs from the local Singaporean banks – DBS, OCBC and UOB – as well as Standard Chartered and HSBC,” says Rahul Sen, a former HSBC private banker, now a global leader in private wealth management at search firm Boyden. Sen says it makes sense for Citi to invest in an Orchard Road site as the high-end shopping district is a drawcard for wealthy Singaporeans and foreigners. 

The 300 staff transferring to the new office in December will face the usual Covid-19 safety measures. An antimicrobial coating will be applied on all high touch surfaces and safe distancing of at least two metres will be enforced, according to a statement from the bank. All rooms will also be disinfected after each use and plexi guard-shields will be installed throughout the wealth hub.

Image credit: Citi

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