Bank of Singapore takes on BNP Paribas MD as hiring drive continues

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A managing director from BNP Paribas has moved to Bank of Singapore as part of the firm's push to grow its headcount in wealth management.

Harjeet Singh joins BoS, the private bank owned by OCBC, after almost two years at the French bank's wealth management division, according to his online public profile.

He now leads a team at BoS covering non-resident Indians (NRI) and manages a book of his own NRI clients, says a private banking headhunter who has knowledge of the move and who asked not to be named.

At BNP Paribas, Singh was a team head and a senior banker for NRI in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Bank of Singapore is still hiring after its acquisition of Barclays’ Asian wealth unit last year, which saw it break into the top-10 private banks in Asia for assets under management.

The bank has also recruited 20 relationship managers in Hong Kong this year, taking its RM headcount to just over 400, chief executive officer Bahren Shaari told Bloomberg last week. BoS will “continue to hire” for the rest of 2017, particularly in Hong Kong, he said, without providing exact numbers.

“The Barclays Asia acquisition helped, but BoS wants to keep growing its presence in Asia. Ultimate, it aims to be among the top-three private banks in the region,” says the headhunter.

To achieve this, BoS would need to get its assets above $150bn, from today’s $85bn, he adds. “And therefore it must keep hiring and get existing bankers to grow their books.”

BoS is raising its client investment threshold from $2m to $3m next year – and will eventually set it at $5m – to help boost the productivity of its bankers.

Singh brings more than 20 years’ experience of Asian wealth management to BoS. After beginning his career in his native India, latterly at HSBC, he moved to Singapore in 2008 as a director in NRI banking at Barclays.

He then joined J.P. Morgan as a Singapore-based ED in 2012, before shifting to BNP Paribas in 2015, according to his online profile.

Bank of Singapore has not yet responded to a request to comment on Singh's appointment.

Image credit: Flightlevel80, Getty

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