DBS is planning a five-year expansion in the Middle East after signs that a growing number of wealthy individuals from the region are looking to Asia for investment opportunities. The DBS Middle East plan builds on a presence it has maintained in Dubai since 2006.

The Singapore bank will double the number of Dubai-based private bankers in the next five years as part of the plan. Already, DBS has launched a new and expanded office premise at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Over the last seven years, the Dubai office’s total revenue is said to have grown by 20% every year. The bank plans to triple its revenue in the coming five years by prioritising increasing client diversity, spread and penetration.

DBS is also planning on building a bespoke investment portfolio including private equity funds within growth segments such as e-commerce, health technology, real estate, logistics and fintech across growing Asian markets.

Tan Su Shan, the outgoing head of wealth management and consumer banking, said: “Wealth in the Middle East remains on the rise, with the number of UHNW clients with more than USD 500 million in assets in this region projected to increase by 28% – from 390 in 2017, to approximately 500 in 2022.” This is according to the Knight Frank 2018 wealth report.

On 1st February next year, Su Shan will take up a new role as group head of institutional banking (IBG), DBS recently announced. 

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Meanwhile, Rudiger von Wedel has been appointed as the new head of international at DBS Private Bank, replacing Rob Ioannou.

Wedel joins from National Bank of Abu Dhabi, where he was the CEO of the global wealth arm.

In the new role, he will be based in Dubai and will report to the deputy head of private bank Lawrence Lua.