Team Moves - The New Trend in Private Banking
Hong Kong’s Private Banking industry remains positive. Its strategic location next to China, with its long-term prospects for wealth creation, and its natural development as a commercial hub for the APAC region have solidified its position.
However, private banking is not without its challenges. Compliance requirements have taken their toll and with rising costs, margins have decreased. Hong Kong and Singapore account for only around ten percent of the booked wealth in the region. In pursuit of a share of the limited pool of High Net Worth investors, the crowded marketplace is undergoing change. We have seen European private banks exit the market and elsewhere, consolidations in the industry.
Singaporean banks have fared well and continue to add incremental headcounts, whilst the arrival of Chinese firms following their clients to Hong Kong has seen new offices open and teams being built from the ground up.
Training is becoming a new focus within firms, who are recruiting graduates or wealth management trainees who will be ready in 2-3 years. This approach of supporting employees with skills training and certification programmes is hoped to improve Relationship Manager loyalty and reduce turnover.
For experienced candidates, we are seeing a trend of incremental salary moves between rival firms and also team moves. Frequently teams of 3-4 people will move to a different company but continue the same work, with the same clients. Private banks are in support of the additional wealth this brings, while clients value the continuity and candidates value the security of a team move.
An attractive alternative for candidates is to join a boutique family office. We are seeing a plethora of family offices open in Hong Kong to manage offshore assets, with some families opening multiple offices to accommodate the different investment philosophies of family members.
If you would like to understand what further opportunities are available, please get in touch directly.