JPMorgan’s head of corporate banking leaves after a year to join OCBC

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Don Tay, head of multinational corporate banking for South East Asia at JP Morgan in Singapore, has left the firm after just a year to join OCBC.

Tay joined OCBC’s global transaction banking unit earlier this month as head of regional sales, according to his public profile. His move demonstrates the growing ability of the three Singaporean banks – OCBC, DBS and UOB – to hire from global banks, including bulge-bracket firms such as JP Morgan.

For a senior banker like Tay, one of the main attractions of local banks is that they offer roles based at headquarters, which gives managers more power to make decisions, according to an HR professional from a bank in Singapore who attended a recent eFinancialCareers discussion forum.

“In a global bank, once you reach a certain level, your next move might have to be to London or New York,” adds a Singapore-based agency recruiter. “But the local banks can give you senior group-wide responsibilities without having to leave Singapore and without having to spend your evenings on late-night calls. Job security is typically better too as global banks are constantly restructuring their Asian operations.”

Tay is not the only person from a foreign bank to join OCBC – whose headcount rose by 405 year on year in the second quarter – in a team-head role recently. As we reported in July, OCBC recruited Beaver Chua from HSBC as its head of group policy governance, and anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism Singapore.

Veteran corporate banker Tay started his career in 1998 at Citi and worked for the firm for 13 years in Singapore and Taiwan, according to his online profile. In 2011, he moved to Bank of America for a stint of about six years, latterly as a director in senior regional treasury sales for Asia Pacific. Tay joined JP Morgan in October last year.

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