Nine under-the-radar financial institutions now hiring in Hong Kong and Singapore

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Are you looking to join a financial institution that’s growing its headcount in Hong Kong or Singapore?

This year, unfortunately, most large global banks aren’t making major hiring plans in Asia, but some smaller players in the region are still staffing up. Here’s our pick of expansionist employers that you may have overlooked.

1. UBP: relationship managers

The Swiss bank is buying the international business of RBS-owned Coutts, greatly expanding its Asian client base and giving it about 155 new relationship managers in the region. “UBP will keep on hiring after the takeover, though, as it now has a solid base in Asia and will need to remain competitive against other boutique private banks,” says a Singapore-based private banking headhunter.

2. Allianz Global Investors: fixed income specialists

The German firm already has about 600 staff in Asia, including 106 investment professionals, but its Singapore headcount is only 30-strong and just six of these roles are investment-focused. This is set to change – Allianz is now planning to expand in Singapore as it looks to boost its fixed income business there.

3. Westpac: trade finance and compliance

ANZ may have the largest Asian business of the four big Australian banks, but Westpac has also been expanding in Singapore and Hong Kong over the past two years it’s still growing its ranks in both cities, say recruiters. The two hottest areas of hiring for Westpac right now are trade finance and compliance.

4. Ex-Barclays boutique: investment bankers

Four senior former Asia-based Barclays investment bankers, Ed King, Johan Leven, Helge Weiner-Trapness and Peter Ding, are launching an as-yet-unnamed cross-border advisory business, according to Reuters. The new firm should be up and running within the next two months and will add more staff during this period, anonymous sources told Reuters. While almost every other investment bank in Greater China wants to hire cross-border bankers to help advise on inbound and outbound mainland M&A deals, this new firm is at least recruiting at a time when Asian investment bankers are shedding their traditional reluctance to working at boutiques.

5. Jupiter Assets Management: retail distribution staff

It’s hiring on the drip-feed, but Jupiter is still worth keeping an eye on. The British firm opened an office in Hong Kong last year and now plans to hire more retail-distribution staff in the city over the next 12 months as it looks to win new retail business in the region. As the clients come, so will the vacancies.

6. Wells Fargo: corporate banking and compliance

The US bank is expanding its 1,400-person wholesale banking team in Asia, adding some 140 new staff in the region over the next year, mainly in corporate banking and compliance, John Rindlaub, the bank’s regional president for Asia Pacific, told Bloomberg. As we noted last week, talent shortages in these sectors and Wells Fargo’s comparatively small presence in Asia mean large salary rises may be on offer for new recruits.

7. VP Bank and Lombard Odier: relationship managers

“These two boutique private banks are expanding this year,” says another wealth management headhunter in Singapore. “They’re targeting senior private bankers with a big book – about US$300m in assets – who are sick of regimented work protocols and politics in the big banks. They also offer candidates a more mixed market coverage, although they sometimes fail to attract good bankers because of their limited product suites, which means they can lose up to 50% of the new banker’s target AUM.”

8. Mirae Asset Global Investments: institutional sales directors

The Korean asset manager is currently looking to recruit regional sales directors in Asia as it expands its institutional business, according to Asian Investor. The hiring follows heightened institutional interest in Mirae’s Luxembourg-domiciled Asia products over the past year.

9. Maybank: premier bankers

While Malaysia rival CIMB has cut investment banking jobs and shelved a domestic merger deal, Maybank continues to expanding its consumer banking business across Southeast Asia, Abdul Farid Alias, Maybank’s CEO, told Bloomberg earlier this year. In Singapore, the firm is currently building its team of “premier” bankers, relationship managers who service mass-affluent consumers, according to recruiters.

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