Deutsche Bank has hired nearly 30 people away from Standard Chartered in recent months in a bid to bolster its wealth management unit in China, a spokesperson for the German bank said on Friday, making it one of several firms to focus more on the space as China opens up its financial sector.
The hirings were kicked off after Boris Kwok was hired to become a group head for North Asia, the Deutsche Bank spokesperson told Fastinform. The new employees include 10 directors and investment managers, the spokesperson said.
The new directors are Stephen So, Ivan Tam, Calvin Poon, Kenny Choy, Rita Lai, Amy Chau, Kelly Chan, Sam Chan, Cynthia Cheng and Cindy Wu, the spokesperson said.
The directors are also team heads, the spokesperson said.
News of the hirings was first reported by Bloomberg, which said that Deutsche Bank’s moves are meant to service affluent clients in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Deutsche Bank’s Kanas Chan, who is head of North Asia wealth management, touted the experience of the recent hires.
“We are happy to see our platform continuing to attract the best talent in the industry,” Chan said. “Seasoned industry veterans are keen to join us because they recognize the power of our platform and the uniquely comprehensive product capability we are able to offer for our clients. They are also attracted to the problem-solving mentality that we bring to client servicing.”
Representatives for Standard Chartered, which is based in the U.K., did not return a request for comment. However, Bloomberg quoted the firm as pointing to a slowing attrition rate in Hong Kong more recently.
“Following the departure of the team to Deutsche Bank last year, attrition has slowed significantly in Hong Kong, with only 10 relationship managers departing this year,” Standard Chartered was quoted as saying. Bloomberg added that senior relationship managers have grown their share of Standard Chartered’s local staff, rising to 40% from 15% four years ago.
The news of Deutsche Bank’s hirings comes as Credit Suisse said in August it plans to double its Chinese staffing count over the next five years in order to target ultra-wealthy prospective clientele.
HSBC also said in August that it will hire as many as 3,000 wealth planners to boost its mainland Chinese presence. The bank’s declaration came after it voiced support in June for China’s security law for Hong Kong, which drew rebukes against the bank from lawmakers in the U.S. and in the U.K., where it is based.
-- Additional reporting by Minyoung Park and Owen Poindexter