UOB is looking to hire more than 300 wealth advisors in the next three years to power the expansion of its wealth management arm, amid Southeast Asia’s growing affluence and rising consumer interest in investment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Singapore bank is hiring wealth advisors across all client segments: personal bankers who cover the mass market; relationship managers focused on customers with assets under management (AUM) of S$100k-S$350k; client advisors who serve people with AUM of S$350k-S$2m; and senior client advisors for customers with over S$2m in assets.
Apart from candidates from the banking and insurance industry, UOB has hired fresh graduates with non-finance degrees, such as engineering and geography, as well as mid-career professionals from the government’s SGUnited jobs programmes, says UOB head of group personal financial services Jacquelyn Tan. UOB has also taken on people formerly from the service industry, which has been hit heavily by Covid-19 redundancies.
While the bank does recruit some international wealth managers to service its offshore markets of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and North Asia, it prioritises hiring Singaporeans and permanent residents because they connect well to local customers in its core local market. Tan says UOB serves more than 40% of Singapore’s bankable population. Local candidates interested in jobs at UOB can chat to its talent acquisition team at the eFinancialCareers Virtual Careers Event on 28 July.
When recruiting in wealth, UOB is less concerned about hard skills – though candidates must display financial literacy – because it trains its staff to take a structured approach to wealth management advisory. Instead, it mainly screens candidates through psychometric tests to ensure they align with its core values: “honourable, enterprising, united and committed”, says Tan. “To be able to thrive in any role, you need to have these fundamental values. A candidate might be the smartest, but if they don't have anchored values, they wouldn't be a competent and trusted advisor for us.”
Tan says financial institutions are competing for talent not only in front-office wealth management, but also in the highly contested data and digital spaces. The Singapore bank is looking to grow its team in digital banking and data analytics to support digital innovation, such as the creation of portfolio advisory tools for bankers and self-serve digital tools for clients.
So why join UOB? People are attracted to the bank’s emphasis on staff progression, says Tan. “Young bankers, especially those who are fresh out of school, do see how the bank grows its own timber and develops its people,” says Tan. “For example, they see a segment head that used to be a personal banker, or a team head that used to be a personal banker. We reward performance… and accelerate career development paths when our people achieve.” UOB’s accelerated development plan sees a new joiner promoted in six months if they are competent, perform well and display the right values, she adds.
Another attractive point is the bank’s investment in tech tools that enable wealth advisors to be successful. “Backed with data, analytical skills and digital tools, advisors have more confidence in growing their client relationship, and in the quality of the relationship,” says Tan. “That investment in tech and data makes a difference.”
To chat with recruiters from UOB and other leading employers, register now for the eFinancialCareers Virtual Careers Event on 28 July: Singaporeans & Singapore PRs in Financial Services.