Bank of Singapore just hired a man all private banks would love to get their hands on

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Bank of Singapore just hired a man all private banks would love to get their hands on

A former Credit Suisse director, who left banking two years ago for an external asset manager, has returned to the sector to join Bank of Singapore (BoS).

Ee Tat Chan is now a relationship manager at executive director level at BoS, the wealth arm of OCBC. His new firm did not respond to a request to comment on his move. Chan was a director at Credit Suisse’s private bank in Singapore between April 2011 and August 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He then worked as an executive director for Eu Capital, a Singapore-based asset manager that provides wealth management and portfolio management services to high-net-worth individuals and families. The boutique firm was founded in 2015 by fellow Credit Suisse alum Kelvin Eu.

External asset managers (EAMs) were once barely found beyond Switzerland and London, but they have become increasingly popular employers for Asian private bankers like Chan over the past four years as more of them have opened up in Singapore and Hong Kong. There are just under 200 EAMs in Asia, accounting for up to 6% of total regional wealth management assets, a percentage that is expected to double by 2023, according to a Reuters report in May.

Chan’s return to a large private bank suggests that talent is flowing both ways between private banks and EAMs. Working for an EAM can provide private bankers with valuable experience because banks – including UBS, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Julius Baer, and Pictet – are expanding the desks that service Asia’s emerging EAM sector. Relationship managers like Chan, who’ve done stints at boutiques, are now  in high demand at banks as a result, say headhunters.

Chan is joining Bank of Singapore at a time of growth. As we reported earlier this month, the firm has also just hired senior private banker Adrian Teo from JP Morgan as a managing director.

Last year BoS added 20 new relationship managers, taking its RM headcount to 450. That made it the seventh biggest recruiter of RMs in Asia that year, with the fourth largest RM workforce – ahead of banks such as Julius Baer, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. Despite a talent-short job market in Asian private banking – and competition from larger players like UBS and Credit Suisse – recruiters in Asia expect BoS’s headcount to rise by a similar amount by the end of this year.

Last month, for example, the firm appointed Kelvin Teo, formerly of Credit Suisse, as head of bespoke investments for Greater China and North Asia, and tasked him with targeting ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients in the region.

Assets under management at BoS reached US$111bn at the end of June, a 9% rise year-on-year.

Image credit: Muhammad Faiz Zulkeflee, Unsplash

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