Stan Chart faces big “fight” for more ex-Barclays bankers in Asia

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The ex-Barclays bosses heading up Standard Chartered’s private bank in Asia are keen to recruit more of their former colleagues, who are now at Bank of Singapore, say headhunters.

BoS acquired the Asian wealth unit of Barclays – and about 60 of its private bankers – in November 2016.

But prior to this several senior Barclays bankers made preemptive moves to Standard Chartered, most notably Didier Von Daeniken, Stan Chart’s Singapore-based global private banking head, who joined in March 2016.

Von Daeniken then recruited his North Asia and Southeast Asia heads – Vivian Chan and Srinivas Siripurapu respectively – from Barclays. And in October about 10 Barclays RMs joined Chan’s team in Hong Kong.

“Stan Chart still needs to grow its AUM above its current $45bn - $48bn, so Didier has been tasked to hire this year,” says former Merrill Lynch private banker Rahul Sen, now head of wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group in Singapore.

“With all those ex-Barclays RMs sitting at Bank of Singapore, BoS will naturally be the first point of call this year,” he adds.

Moreover, the guaranteed bonuses for 2016 that BoS gave most of the Barclays joiners are now being paid out, so the RMs are no longer financially handcuffed to BoS.

“Bank of Singapore didn’t want to annoy its current RMs by giving the Barclays guys big guarantees beyond a year,” explains Sen.

Stan Chart’s private bank is primarily looking to hire at ED and MD level, says a Singapore headhunter with knowledge of the firm.

It has increased its minimum client investment threshold from US$2-3m to US$5m, and it wants experienced bankers with more affluent clients.

“But despite the links to Didier and the end of the guarantees, Standard Chartered will have to fight hard to prise people out of BoS now, or hope that BoS trips up,” says Sen. “BoS has so far managed to treat the ex-Barclays people well, without antagonising its other RMs.”

Still, a move to Stan Chart would likely lead to another salary rise. “Barclays RMs got around 10% to 15% more base pay when they moved to BoS,” says the Singapore headhunter. “They’d get around the same increment for going to Stan Chart – so two increases within a year. Not bad.”

Image: walik, Getty

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