Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong has poached Pradinan Arkarachinores, a senior Julius Baer relationship manager, as its Asian private banking build-out gathers pace. The US bank plans to take on 50 RMs in Hong Kong and Singapore over the next three years, Vincent Chui, Morgan Stanley’s head of wealth management in Asia, told Bloomberg in January.
Arkarachinores’s move suggests that this hiring drive is in full swing – now that banks in Asia have paid bonuses – and that Morgan Stanley is still capable of luring leading bankers away from expansionist competitors like Julius Baer. Morgan Stanley has been on recruitment sprees in Asian wealth before. In 2017, its regional RM headcount shot up by 51 to reach 298.
New MS recruit Arkarachinores was an executive director and team head for the Thai market at Julius Baer, based in Hong Kong. She joined JB in September 2016 from Credit Suisse and was hired by her former CS colleague Angela Bow, alongside two other CS bankers, Agatha Chan and Tisha Mellado. Arkarachinores spent almost six years at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong, primarily working with ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients. Prior to that, she worked for Deutsche Bank in Bangkok for a year.
Arkarachinores’s UHNW Thai clients will be much valued at Morgan Stanley. Like US rivals JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley has an UHNW focus. Meanwhile, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines are among the bank’s priorities as coverage markets in Asia, Nick Chan, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management’s Asia co-head of sales, told City Wire.
Bankers like Arkarachinores, who join Morgan Stanley as part of its new Asian hiring campaign, may find the firm a little different from what they’re used to. For starters, they’ll need to know their products inside out. “They must be very independent and able to function as investment advisors to their clients, without the luxury of always having specialist advisors assisting them,” says Liu San Li, a former private banker, now a business partner at wealth management firm Avallis in Singapore.
Morgan Stanley is one of the few banks in Hong Kong and Singapore operating a brokerage – rather than discretionary – bonus model, based on a clearly defined formula derived from revenue generated, a source close to the bank told us earlier this year. This bonus arrangement is one of the “main selling points” that attract RMs to join the bank, says the source. “The ratio of compensation to revenue generated is typically two to three times higher than under a discretionary model,” he adds.
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