Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Banks for the wealthy still hiring in Asia

October 15, 2008

New York City Comptroller William Thompson has increased his forecast for the number of securities industry workers who could be laid off in the city to 35,000 from 25,000, but banks in Asia are still looking to bulk up. Top brass speaking at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit this week said their expansion plans for Asia are largely intact.

Joseph Poon, who heads the Private Wealth Asia division of Australia’s Macquarie Group, said its recently set-up Asian private banking unit will hire another 30-35 client advisers in the next three to five years.

Marcel Kreis, head of Asia-Pacific private banking for Credit Suisse, said the credit crisis has not derailed plans to expand its private bank in Asia, where it could boost its team by as much as 80 percent in three years.

UBS is adding staff at a slower rate but is ready to pounce on experienced talent. “Even if we wanted to hire a lot of people there are not that many good people in the market,” said Kathryn Shih, chief executive for UBS’s wealth management business in the Asia-Pacific. “Normally into the second year of the crisis you start getting good people.”

Picture: Marcel Kreis, Credit Suisse Managing Director and Head of Private Banking for Asia-Pacific, speaks during an interview at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Singapore October 13, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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