Steaming demand for senior private bankers
UBS isn't the only one beefing up its senior private banking ranks in Singapore.
The Swiss bank relocated Carlo Grigioni, its formerly Swiss-based global head of private wealth management, to Singapore this month. However, recruiters say UBS is far from the only organisation looking to add muscle at the top end - demand for senior private bankers in Singapore remains high.
Asian private banking is booming as the region's wealth increases, fuelled by rising stock and property markets. The stock markets of both Hong Kong and Singapore are at record highs, and according to the latest Merrill Lynch/CapGemini World Wealth Report, Asia-Pacific's high net worth population swelled to 2.4m in 2006, up 7.3% from a year before.
Dennis Koh, managing partner of Goshen Staines Singapore, an executive search firm, tells us demand for private bankers reflects the strength of the market.
The most sought-after profile is that of the 'top producing banker', says Koh. These are typically senior individuals who can bring high net worth clients with them - and valuable business.
Pay for these top individuals is generous - the salary for the average private banker is around S$300k (US$195k). But it can reach considerably more than that. "Last year we came across a few candidates who will hit S$700k to $800k in total compensation," says Koh.
Unfortunately, senior private bankers are not always easy to move. While banks want private bankers who can bring clients with them, Koh says bankers are loath to keep moving on as it means clients also have to keep changing who they bank with, thus potentially harming their client relationships.