Singapore's DBS Bank has appointed Tan Su Shan as head of private banking, including asset management, to succeed Amy Yip, who remains Hong Kong chief executive at DBS.

Tan will join on July 1 following her gardening leave from Morgan Stanley, where she has been Singapore-based head of private wealth management (PWM) for Southeast Asia since May 2008. She will be a member of DBS's group management committee, reporting to chief executive Piyush Gupta.

Morgan Stanley has not yet named a permanent replacement, but has appointed one of the team's managing directors as interim head for Singapore PWM, say sources familiar with the situation.

One of Tan's immediate priorities will be to build the team, including making some senior hires, says a DBS spokeswoman.

The private-banking division serves high-net-worth individuals with assets of more than $1 million and has more than 300 staff across the region, of which about 100 are relationship managers. DBS intends to fill more than 500 positions, both new and existing, across the region this year for mainly client-facing roles, across consumer, institutional and private banking.

However, it will face tough competition for talent, as numerous firms have ambitious plans for hiring private bankers in the region, such as Barclays Wealth, HSBC and Standard Chartered, to name just a few. And several firms relatively new to the region are looking to make inroads, such as Swiss firms BCGE and BSI.

DBS cites its advantages as its "Singapore lineage, strong balance sheet, solid market insight, deep understanding of the region and appreciation of local cultures".

Before rejoining Morgan Stanley in 2008, Tan was Citi Private Bank's region head for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. From 1997 to 2005, she was an executive director with Morgan Stanley in Singapore, advising high-net-worth families, corporates and institutions in the region. Prior to that, she spent seven years on the institutional equity and derivatives desk at ING Barings in London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Tan is a board member of Aetos Security Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings. She is also on the investment committee of Ministry of Health Holdings, a board member of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and sits on Singapore's KK Hospital Health Endowment Fund.

DBS is the largest bank in Singapore, has operations in 16 markets and is rated AA- and Aa1 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's respectively.