Julius Baer has taken on a senior non-resident Indian (NRI) banker from Standard Chartered in Singapore as competition for talent in the sector reaches fever pitch.
Sundeep Dua joined Julius Baer last month as a director in its ISC (Indian Subcontinent) NRI team, according to his public profile. He previously spent more than five years within the global South Asian client team at Stan Chart.
NRI is a rapidly expanding segment in wealth management and Singapore serves as one of its main global hubs. As banks compete to manage the off-shore wealth of Indian millionaires and billionaires, they are trying to bring more NRI bankers on board, creating a musical-chairs effect across the industry.
The firm that Dua has just left, Standard Chartered, is among the most aggressive NRI recruiters in Singapore. In one of the more extreme examples of job hopping in NRI, Stan Chart hired managing director Nakul Beri in March after he spent just five months at Safra Sarasin. And as we reported last year, NRI bankers Mo Choudhury and Abhijit Shetty joined Stan Chart from EFG and DBS respectively.
Other banks are hiring, too. Earlier this year, for example, Sajal Arora joined BNP Paribas from Bank of Singapore as a director, focused on NRI clients.
NRI is also a priority for Deutsche, which recently relocated Amrit Singh, the global head of its South Asia desk, from London to Singapore. In January, Deutsche hired NRI veteran Sagar Anand Sapra from Stan Chart as part of its wider headcount expansion in Asian private banking.
Like many of his NRI counterparts, Julius Baer’s Dua started his finance career on-shore in India, working as an investment counsellor in the premiere wealth management group of ICICI Bank between 2005 and 2008. He then relocated to Singapore with HSBC and spent just over four years on its NRI desk, latterly as a VP.
Julius Baer isn’t only adding NRI bankers in Asia; it has been building across its front-office. Between 2015 and 2017, its headcount of Asia-based relationship managers shot up by 130 to reach 400, according to Asian Private Banker. That’s the largest total increase of any private bank not involved in an acquisition during that period, and means the Swiss firm now has the fifth largest RM workforce in the region.
Its expansion has continued into 2018. During the first quarter, for example, Julius Baer hired DBS banker Laurent Chevalley as a managing director and senior advisor, and recruited Winston Teo from Bank of Singapore as Southeast Asia team head.
Image credit: Rafael_Wiedenmeier, Getty