French bank BNP Paribas has transferred Stephane Honig to head of sales for wealth management and family offices in Asia Pacific in what the firm says is a newly created role.

Based in Hong Kong, Honig has been drafted into the global markets division to sell investment and corporate banking products to private banks and family offices in the region.

Asked what was the driver was to create the role, whom Honig would be reporting to and for more details on the team he would be working with, group senior media relations manager Lillian Goh declined to comment or provide further details on the move.

Investment banks have recognised the growth potential of private banking in recent years. Many, including BNP Paribas, have been aggressive in tapping and growing this segment by providing structured and other products.

Honig was previously head of Indian markets at the bank’s wealth management arm, comprising oversight of the onshore and offshore (NRI) India businesses.

So this is a move from dealing directly with high-net-worth investors to dealing with intermediaries of HNWI clients. Honig headed the Indian market from February 2011 to April 2015, but is a long-term executive of BNP Paribas Group, having joined in 2000 in Paris.

Replacing Honig at his previous role is Samir Bimal, who was appointed managing director and head of Indian markets, BNP Paribas announced in a press release.

He will spearhead the private banking teams serving domestic wealthy Indian and non-resident Indian (NRI) clients in Asia. Bimal will be based in Hong Kong and report to Mignonne Cheng, ceo of BNP Paribas Wealth Management Asia Pacific.

Bimal joined BNP Paribas Wealth Management in 2012 as chief executive for India.

Succeeding him in India is Himanshu Mehta, who was appointed as ceo at BNP Paribas Wealth Management India. Based in Mumbai, he reports to Bimal and functionally to Jacques Michel, ceo and country head at BNP Paribas India.   

The announcement comes shortly after a major reshuffle at the wealth management division of BNP Paribas. That featured the appointment of Ernest Cheng as CEO for wealth management in Singapore, replacing Arnaud Tellier, who was named head of investment services for Asia Pacific. Further, Stephanie Lair was appointed head of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, succeeding Serge Forti, who retired.