The Singapore head of a major private bank has criticised the growing number of relationship managers who frequently change jobs in order to pocket the bumper pay rises on offer in Asian wealth management.
As we noted last year, this job-hopping trend is being fuelled partly by boutique private banks (such as LGT, VP Bank, EFG, and Safra Sarasin) offering 30% to 50% salary increases to attract new RMs to their small platforms and to compensate RMs for loss of clients.
Moving banks too often may come at a price, however. Not only are some RMs struggling to meet onerous revenue targets at boutiques a year after joining, they may well also face opposition if they try to rejoin larger firms in the future.
“I’m now screening out bankers who are constantly job hopping,” says the Singapore-based boss of a European private bank. “If you’re not in your current role for at least four or five years, I’m not bothered with you. I want to know if you’re going to be with us over the long run. If you’ve jumped around recently, it’s very likely to be an ongoing pattern,” adds the banker, who asked not to be named.
Southeast Asia’s millionaires and billionaires are getting tired of following their bankers from one firm to another as account onboarding procedures have become more onerous, says the private banking chief. “Clients are increasingly telling me that they’re sick of bankers moving three or four times within a short period, no matter what the reason. Clients want more stability,” he adds.
The senior banker says he’s now focused on hiring RMs who have a track record of long-term relationships rather than a CV full of job moves and promotions. “I’m also interested in stability. For example, can you show me that you’ve kept your clients happy through downturns?” he adds. “You have to have a pretty good reason to join us and be committed to us long term. We’re doing our best to filter out fly-by-night private bankers.”
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