Market Trends & Salary Information

Private Banking

Private banks continue to expand amid challenging market conditions.

Many already find it hard to command favourable fees and with rampant digitization fully automating many transactions, private bankers will need to rely on sophisticated knowledge of investments and their advisory skills to make a difference to high net worth individuals and families.

After a series of fierce consolidation in recent years, the final list of private banks today is much trimmer with around 23 names in this region: UBS, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Citi, Julius Baer, Morgan Stanley, DBS, Bank of Singapore, BNP Paribas and JP Morgan head the top 10 list in terms of Asset Under Management (AUM), with Goldman Sachs, LGT, Deutsche, Standard Chartered, Pictet, UOB, EFG, J. Safra Sarasin, UBP, Indosuez and Maybank rounding up the top 20 players.

Chinese banks are increasingly growing their presence in servicing the needs of wealthy clients: Hang Seng, CMB and Bank of China are notable names with substantial AUM and Relationship Manager (RM) headcount.  With the growing number of wealthy individuals in China, these banks are naturally the first port-of-call among clients seeking private banking services.  However, it remains to be seen how successful they can be in catching up with their global and regional counterparts in offering a strong and competitive product and service platform.

And having a strong platform increasingly means collaborating with companies outside the industry – insurance, art and lifestyle services are related services which wealthy clients demand.  The most successful private banks are likely those who manage to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ to take care of all their clients’ financial and lifestyle needs.

Technology and AI continue to be an emerging theme as many private banks will see an imperative need to offer clients additional business and transactions through digital means.  AI will form the backbone for the digitalization efforts of many private banks as they seek to build closer and more intimate relationships with their digitally savvy clients.

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Corporate & Investment Banking

The corporate banking industry charts its growth path in Asia as more and more local businesses grow in stature and requiring ever more sophisticated products and solutions facilitating global commerce.

Those banks which are traditionally not top players in this sector, are busy building up their capabilities as they respond to a flood of new businesses. Technology becomes a differentiating tool to compete credibly and there is hence, a strong demand for technologists and people with good program/ project management skills.

The investment banking sector is a traditional magnet for the best and the brightest among the graduating cohorts. Long working days are the norm and increasingly, the need to report to work during weekends. Having the tenacity and stamina on the job are keys to career success.

An emerging trend is an increasing level of cooperation between investment banking and wealth management.  In an effort to tap ultra-high-net-worth individuals with an appetite for investment banking services, several investment banks are ramping up their product solutions to bridge the two divisions.

Be prepared for hybrid investment bankers with the ability to conduct business with wealthy individuals, as well as private bankers with a flair for structuring investment banking deals for their top clients.

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Asset Management

Changing demographics and markets will thrust asset management to centre-stage.

First, regulation will hinder banks and insurers by forcing them to abandon proprietary investing and other core businesses. Second, as the world ages, retirement and healthcare will become critical issues that only asset management can solve. Third, asset managers will become more important in the capital raising required to support growing urbanization and cross-border trade. Fourth, asset managers will be at the centre of efforts by SWFs to diversify their huge pools of assets. Messaging will need to be systematic and consistently focused on the value the asset management industry brings.

The trend towards alternatives and passive products will accelerate investors increase their investment allocation to passive products in search of low fees and broad beta market exposure.  In some parts of the world, alternatives will move into the mainstream to the extent that “alternative” is no longer in common usage by 2020.

Technology will become mission critical to drive customer engagement, data mining for information on clients and potential clients, operational efficiency and regulatory and tax reporting. By 2020, most global asset managers will have a chief digital officer (CDO).

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