Banks seek solutions to private banker shortage.
Asian-based recruiters say private banks, faced with an undersupply of talent in the region, are strengthening in-house training and turning increasingly to corporate and retail bankers as candidates for retraining. "A lot of leading banks have taken the initiative and said that wage inflation and high staff turnover can't last forever," says Stanley Teo, manager for financial services recruitment at Michael Page International in Singapore.
"They're saying what we need is a strategic plan where we train people in-house and groom people to step up. They're modeling their efforts on what happens in Europe where they have private banking schools and apprentices working in banks."
Jackie Wong, head of Egon Zehnder International's financial services practice for Asia Pacific, says the trend reflects huge growth in the industry in recent years as banks tap into a growing pool of Asian wealth . "When the market is hot, demand is always bigger than the supply of talent," she says. "Every private bank is thinking creatively about how they can attract people with the right relationship skills and with access to wealth."
Corporate bankers with links to proprietors of small and medium-sized enterprises, priority bankers in charge of large retail accounts and even lawyers and management consultants are considered targets for retraining, she says.
UBS recently announced plans to set up a wealth management campus in Singapore aimed at attracting and developing Asian talent while the Credit Suisse Business School established a campus in Singapore - its first outside Zurich - last year.
The Financial Times reported this week that Credit Suisse, hit by a number of recent departures, plans to hire 140 relationship managers in the next year.