Standard Chartered has appointed veteran banker Julian Moneta as its Singapore-based global head of wealth management transformation. His move comes as private banks in the Republic look to hire more strategy staff to help them boost their share of millionaire and billionaire wealth.
Moneta has relocated to the Republic from London, where he was head of wealth management platform (COO) at Barclays, a role he’d held for about 18 months. He joined Barclays in 2015 as head of strategy and change for wealth.
Private banks in Asia aren’t just recruiting more relationship managers to grow their assets under management (AUM); they’re also adding senior people to help tweak their business strategies amid a competitive regional operating environment. Pre-tax profit margins in Asian private banking are 21 basis points of AUM, compared with 25 to 26 basis points in Europe, according to research from the Boston Consulting Group. Since 2016, ANZ, ABN Amro, Barclays and Coutts have all sold their Asian wealth units.
Moneta’s hire follows other recent managerial moves. Last month, UBS took on Desmond Kuek, the former head of Singapore’s transport network, SMRT, as divisional vice-chairman for global wealth management. Kuek isn’t a revenue-generating RM, but is instead developing new ways to grow UBS’s client network. And as we reported yesterday, ex-Cognizant consultant Avik Bera has just joined Julius Baer in Singapore to lead digital business transformation.
Unlike Bera and Kuek, however, Moneta comes from a banking background. He started his career in the sector at Lloyds in 2001, working initially in strategy and M&A roles in London, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. While at Lloyds, Moneta also spent more than five years as head of retail banking in Japan, and two years as head of transformation in London.
Moneta now has plenty on his plate at Standard Chartered. The bank has been adding more relationship managers in Asia since 2016 when it recruited Didier Von Daeniken from Moneta’s old firm, Barclays, as its Singapore-based global head of private banking and wealth management. Last year Stan Chart continued to build its “senior team of frontline relationship managers”, according to its 2018 annual report. But despite these hires, Stan Chart’s private banking unit made a $14m loss in 2018, and its year-end AUM was $5bn (8%) lower than 12 months previously, as “negative market movements” offset net new money growth.
“Stan Chart has gone through many rounds of restructuring, but it’s been unable to become a bigger private bank – its AUM has been stuck at about $45bn for a long time,” says former Merrill Lynch banker Rahul Sen, now a global leader in private wealth management at search firm Boyden. “Stan Chart needs to spend a lot of money developing a better investment advisory and product development platform. This will attract clients and AUM,” he adds.
Within the lower reaches of wealth management, however, Stan Chart is doing better. Last month CEO Bill Winters singled out priority banking (focused on the emerging affluent, who don’t qualify for private banking services) as a “key differentiator” helping to grow revenue. This suggests more RM jobs may soon open up within priority banking in Singapore and Hong Kong, two key centres for affluent clients.
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