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Singapore embracing junior private bankers

As Asia's legions of high net worth individuals multiply, demand for junior private bankers is increasing exponentially in Singapore.

It's good news if you want to move into the sector. "Private banking is not hard to get into at a junior level," says Nicholas Hughes, principal banking consultant at Charterhouse Partnership in Singapore.

How do you know if you're private banking material? Suitable candidates are personable, highly educated (to at least graduate level) with local knowledge and language skills. A junior relationship manager with less than two years' experience can expect to earn a relatively meagre base salary of between S$50k (US$32k) and S$80k a year.

Singapore has positioned itself as a hub for private banking in Asia, tapping into the region's 2.4m high net worth individuals (people worth $1 million-plus) owning assets totalling $7.6 trillion. Both figures are set to rise substantially over the next few years, particularly on the back of growth in China and India.

However, the real demand is apparently for experienced relationship managers with an existing portfolio and extensive contacts. "At some point the hiring bank will want the relationship manager to bring across the assets under management generated at their previous employer," explains Hughes.

While base salaries vary, relationship managers really earn their salary from bonuses. A successful relationship manger can expect to earn - inclusive of bonus - in the region of S$500k in a good year, Hughes adds.

AUTHORAnonymous Insider Comment
  • An
    21 January 2008

    don't really understand where you coming from? Personally, I've been in Premier banking and have thots of joining the private banking as a junior private banker. Any idea how long you need to move from a junior banker to a full private banker?

  • Ju
    Just looking
    9 November 2007

    Wondering what the approximate salary would be working for a MNC as a relationship manager. Such a broad term, but basically working a book of approx 400 high networth clients, and ensuring it's being serviced accordingly. Refer them off to the wealth management team for their higher end needs etc. Looking around right now. Thanks.

  • An
    15 October 2007

    not really true. Some of the lower tiered PBs do that, but the higher tiered PBs are more sophiscated and cater more to individual tastes.Been in the line a year or so and I'm learning a lot of stuff. Word of advice is really think it over cos PB's more customer service oriented. U won't believe the kind of crap you get from clients. Besides, the real money's in coporate and investment banking, we're just third in terms of making a good living :D

  • Ma
    3 September 2007

    I left corporate banking into wealth management, attracted by all the bright lights and glam of so-called wealth management.

    6 months on, I am sad to report that it is nothing at all to do with wealth management. More of mismanagement if you ask me. Top performers are nothing but bonafide salesmen.

    You sell what the bank tells you to....You have a sales pitch for every objection, every occasion. When the markets was at its peak mid july, you tell customers, its meant to be at such a high level, because fundamentals are sound. Then came the subprime boohoo. Markets tumbled. You tell your customer, hey its bargain time, time to load up on mutual funds etc....

    I agree with Gupta, being able to earn a 5 figure salary per month is one thing, but having to live with the guilt of product pushing is another!

  • di
    diana and Dodi
    12 June 2007

    The truth is private banker is just big name job. It is to lose money big time fro the customer. Who would pay your salary except fro m the losses of your customer's investment through or with you.

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