Standard Chartered Private Bank, which has been without a chief executive for the past six months, looks to be on the point of deciding a badly-needed replacement.

The search has come down to a standoff between two existing StanChart Private Bank executives- Rajesh Malkani, head of Private Bank East, and his opposite number, Stephen Richards Evans, head of Private Bank West, according to senior sources in Singapore.
Attempts by the bank to find a replacement externally seem so far to have been unsuccessful, as a sufficiently senior executive to fill the position couldn’t be found, they say.

A new chief executive is needed to replace Shayne Nelson, who announced his resignation in June to become group chief executive of Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank. His replacement, on an interim basis, was Judy Hsu, global head of wealth management and priority & international banking for StanChart.

There has been discontent within StanChart at the time taken to find a successor to Nelson, particularly as the private banking industry in Asia moves fast and a bank’s service and product suites can quickly be left behind.

Mr Malkani, a widely-admired private banker, takes a high-profile on behalf of the bank and is frequently a speaker at industry events along with interviews for the media — so would make an appropriate figurehead for the private bank.
He was recently voted PBI’s Outstanding Private Banker 2013 for Asia Pacific. The tribute noted he had won a well-deserved reputation as ‘a highly professional and expert private banking executive, in Singapore and beyond.’
Previously head of sales & marketing SEA for BNP Paribas Private Bank, Malkani has also worked for UBS Private Banking in Hong Kong.

Richards Evans has a lower profile. Since 2010, he has had responsibility for Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia. He started his banking career in London with Lloyds Bank International Ltd where he held a series of international officer and private banking roles culminating in chief executive Asia in 2000. He subsequently joined HSBC Private Bank and had top roles in Singapore and the Middle East.

Standard Chartered declined to comment.