The powerful ex-Citi head at the heart of HSBC’s Asian expansion
Maggie Ng, HSBC’s newly appointed head of wealth and personal banking (WPB) for Hong Kong, will have hiring on her agenda when she joins the bank on December 1, say headhunters. HSBC CEO Noel Quinn has made Asian WPB a priority for the firm, even as it cuts 35,000 jobs globally, primarily in Western markets.
Ng is joining HSBC from online trading provider IG, where she is Greater China CEO. She will be responsible for driving the “growth agenda for HSBC’s most valuable WPB business”, according to a statement from the bank. HSBC merged wealth (which includes the private bank) and personal banking into the newly created WPB division in July. This gives Ng an unusually broad remit – from first-time investors, to high and ultra-high net worth individuals and families.
At the top end of her market, headhunters expect Ng to take on more Hong Kong-based HNW and UHNW relationship managers. “HSBC is already one of the more active private banks in terms of hiring – this appointment could accelerate that,” says one recruiter in Hong Kong.
As we reported earlier this month, for example, Cedric Chan joined HSBC in Hong Kong from Julius Baer as a managing director, focused on UHNW clients. In May, Hong Kong-based Greg Hingston, regional head of wealth and personal banking for APAC, told Reuters that HSBC wants to grow its market share in the UHNW segment.
In a new statement, Hingston said Ng would position HSBC “for growth in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area”, adding he wants to make the WPB division the “number-one wealth manager in Asia”.
As we reported in March, HSBC plans to recruit 500 staff in private banking in Asia by 2022, including an undisclosed but significant number of Hong Kong and Singapore-based private bankers. This growth follows HSBC’s recruitment last year. Its headcount of Asian RMs increased 19.2% year-on-year to reach 645 at the end of 2019, the highest organic rise of any top-10 bank in the region, according to Asian Private Banker. HSBC’s private banking assets in Asia stood at $154bn at the end of June, up 8% year-on-year, according to its first-half financial results.
Ng is leaving for HSBC having only joined IG in November last year, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, she co-founded fintech firm Assured Asset Management and worked there for three and a half years. Ng was at Citi in Hong Kong between 1998 and 2017, latterly as APAC head of lending.