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Credit Suisse hints at more hiring in Singapore and Hong Kong

If you’re working in Credit Suisse’s wealth management unit, Singapore and Hong Kong appear to be the ideal locations to base yourself.

At an “investor deep dive” on Tuesday, Francesco De Ferrari, the Swiss bank’s new global wealth head, announced plans to expand his division. At the same event, which followed a profit warning earlier this month, CS also outlined hiring in compliance and cuts to technology budgets.

De Ferrari designated Hong Kong and Singapore as “priority markets” for wealth management during his part of the deep-dive presentation. The strength of wealth generation in Asia is “phenomenal” and the next generation of rich people in the region are typically “hungrier” than their parents, said De Ferrari, while cautioning that events in China have a “big impact” across Asia and pointing out the importance of the Communist Party National Congress this autumn.

Credit Suisse employs 710 relationship managers in Asia Pacific, which is more than any other of the wealth management division’s regions, including Europe (590), according to Tuesday’s presentation.

Although the bank did not outline hiring targets, it is likely that its RM headcount in APAC – which is second only to Swiss rival UBS – will expand in order to help it reach its 10% target for market growth in the region. Globally, Credit Suisse made 50 net RM hires in Q1.

For lesser millionaires – high-net-worth clients – Credit Suisse will “significantly expand” its HNW model in existing markets while extending it to Hong Kong and Singapore. This suggest that more HNW relationship manager roles may open up in the two Asian wealth hubs.

De Ferrari also hinted at new growth areas for jobs serving ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients. Credit Suisse will further enhance differentiating UHNW in segments such as sustainability, private markets, lending, and next generation programmes.

Don’t expect a spectacular recruitment boom, however, because Credit Suisse also wants technology to drive its growth in wealth management. It is shifting towards an “enhanced digital advisory approach” to further improve the client and RM experience, according to its deep-dive presentation. The firm has recently improved functionality for its digital private bank in APAC.

The CS focus on wealth isn’t entirely new. In November last year, it announced that it would shrink its investment bank and shift about $3bn of capital to the wealth management division by 2024. On Tuesday, De Ferrari said this transition could be “tempered” due to a more challenging market environment, but that the long-term strategy remained unchanged.

Photo by Stephanie Yeh on Unsplash

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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