Expansionist bank nabs new MD from Standard Chartered in Singapore

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Union Bancaire Privée has hired a managing director in Singapore as it continues its Asian expansion.

Jonathan Lau, who previously spent seven years at Standard Chartered, has joined UBP as an MD in private banking investment services, according to his public profile.

Lau is a senior strategist rather than a relationship manager. His job at the Swiss private bank includes strategic projects, investment propositions, and product due diligence.

The hire reflects UBP’s desire to expand its range of products and services in Asia. Michel Longhini, CEO of global private banking, said last year that he wanted to add to the firm’s “product offering and advisory capacity in the region, with things such as private debt, and global high yield products”.

Lau’s move also comes at a time of broader growth for UBP in Asia. UBP acquired the Asian business of British private bank Coutts in 2016, taking its headcount of RMs in the region from 13 to 67. It then set a target – but not a timeframe – of hiring 40 more bankers.

As we've previously reported, UBP is now among five boutique private banks (the others are EFG, LGT, Safra Sarasin and VP Bank) looking to recruit from larger rivals such as UBS, Credit Suisse and Stan Chart. Salary rises of between 30% and 50% are not uncommon for those who make these moves, say headhunters. Flatter organisational structures and less rigid market segmentation are among UBP’s other attractions.

At Stan Chart’s private bank, Lau was latterly an executive director in sales and client segment management, focused on areas such as pricing policy, sales management, and digital banking.

He started his career in consulting, working for Arthur Andersen and then Deloitte in Australia from 1999 to 2005. Lau relocated to Singapore in 2015 for his first job in banking, an assistant vice president role at DBS. He joined Societe Generale Private Banking as chief of staff for Asia in 2006 and was promoted two years later to vice president, private banking, strategy and market development.

Image credit: Getty: AndreyPopov, Getty

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