Clariden Leu has identified Greater China, Indonesia, Singapore and India, including non-resident Indians, as the key private banking markets for its Asian business.
The bank has appointed Jimmy Lee Kong Eng head of Asia business to spearhead its push in the countries. Eng, previously head of Deutsche Bank’s Southeast Asia Private Wealth Management business, previously headed a team of around 150 employees.
Eng said the main priorities for Clariden, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse, were ensuring regulatory compliance with revised legislation in Singapore. It is widely expected there will be sweeping reforms following the financial crisis. Singapore banks were among the worst hit by the scandal relating to the mis-selling of Lehman mini-bonds.
The Singapore Monetary Authority has already banned 10 institutions from selling structured notes after an inquiry into the affair. There could be more compliance issues ahead with the government’s decision to adapt to new proposals on tax exchange agreements being proposed by the Singapore government (see News Digest).
Eng added the bank would focus on the high net worth segment in its Asia markets ($1 million or above in financial assets).
Clariden Leu has 123 staff, including 23 relationship managers across its Asian business. One hundred of these, and 16 of the relationship managers, are based in Singapore, its Asian booking centre.
“Our new Asia head, Jimmy Lee Kong Eng, is a very experienced private banker with a remarkable track record,” said Erich Pfister, head of the Middle East and Asia division at Clariden Leu. “Together with his team, he will drive forward the implementation of our growth strategy in Asia.”
Stefan Hausherr, currently head of Asia on an interim basis, will remain head of operations and branch manager in Singapore.