Private bank search execs on the move

Two wealth management recruiters have left for pastures new, as search executives point to the difficulties presented by regulation.
Private bank search execs on the move

The Asian private banking industry is renowned for its volatile personnel market. This time a duo of wealth management recruiters has moved on.

Matthew Streeton, with five years’ headhunting experience in financial services, has taken a job at UK firm LMA as Singapore country head. He joined in May and plans to build out its private banking business and focus on senior hires.

He replaces Jamie Gripton, who joined RMI, a provider of human capital risk solutions, as a managing director also in May.

Streeton’s previous roles include working for recruitment firm The Consulting Partnership, for Standard Chartered Private Bank as head of specialist resourcing, and prior to that as a headhunter in the banking and finance sectors at Healthco. They were all Singapore-based roles.

“I chose to work at LMA because it is an international company with offices in London, Hong Kong and Singapore,” says Streeton. The Singapore office opened in 2010, and the Hong Kong office just this January.

Singapore’s importance as a wealth management centre continues to grow, he notes, and there remains a talent shortage in Asia. “Moving private bankers takes time; it’s all about the relationships," he says.

LMA’s existing focus is in the areas of risk, compliance, finance and internal audit, and it also has desks covering HR and operations. It is majority owned by UK-based staffing group Empresaria.

Meanwhile, Thomas Stemp left his role as director in private banking and wealth management at Pelham Search Pacific in Hong Kong in early May.

AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain where Stemp had gone, if anywhere. Market sources say that given his experience in private banking search, it is likely he would ultimately set up his own recruitment business. He himself declined to comment.

Stemp had been with the firm since November 2008, carrying out searches for private banks, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, external asset managers and hedge funds. He has also worked for Oxygen Executive Search and Hudson Global Resources in London.

Asked what they feel are the main themes in private banking at present, recruiting sources argue that the big players still have the critical mass in terms of AUM and client base. This, they say, is important because there is still demand for IPOs.

But the challenges for all private banks – not just the big ones – are regulations, tax and capital reserve requirements, all of which are pushing up their cost base. One source cites as an example the fact that Clariden Leu was forced to merge with Credit Suisse “because it couldn’t afford to sustain its current business”.

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