Coutts hires first Asia products head

It continues to rebuild by hiring the ex-head of private bank sales from HSBC to run Asia products and services out of Hong Kong.
Coutts hires first Asia products head

UK private bank Coutts has hired Ken Sue in the role of Asia head of products and services, as it seeks to build that part of the business.

Sue was formerly Asia-Pacific head of wealth management sales at HSBC. He remains in Hong Kong and is due to start at Coutts today in the role, which was created as a result of the firm’s restructuring late last year.

Singapore-based Ranjit Khanna had served as interim Asia head of products and services in the meantime, in addition to his role as global head of the non-resident Indians and South Asia business. The private bank previously only had a global head of products and services.

The bank is seeking to rebuild, with one recruiter saying of the Asia business in general: “They’re trying to hire some bigger guns.” It comes after Coutts lost close to 100 staff in Singapore following the departure of Hanspeter Brunner as co-chief executive of RBS Coutts in 2009.

Coutts & Co dropped the Royal Bank of Scotland name last November to revitalise its brand, having operated as RBS Coutts outside of the UK since 2008. RBS acquired the Coutts business when it bought National Westminster Bank in 2000.

Coutts last month added three to the products and services team in Singapore, as reported by AsianInvestor: Edouard Hoepffner as head of new product development and client solutions; Elaine Ngim as Asia head of fixed income; and Kieran Calder as Asia head of equities.

Sue left HSBC in November after close to five years with the bank, where he was a managing director responsible for the distribution of structured investment products across Asia including Japan and Australia. He had managed a 50-strong team.

HSBC did not replace Sue because it has since restructured the wealth management sales team, with Nicola Pantone, head of institutional equity derivatives sales, looking after that part of Sue’s unit and Huynh-Huu Tuan continuing to head the wealth solutions group.

Before joining HSBC, Sue had been Asia head of the investment products group at Deutsche Bank from February 2002 to July 2006. He had also worked in equity derivatives sales for Merrill Lynch and Bankers Trust Australia.

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