UBS Wealth Management has hired Valerie Chou from Morgan Stanley as head of client coverage for its global family office (GFO) unit based in Hong Kong, according to an internal memo seen by AsianInvestor.

Effective from December 5, Chou’s addition in a newly created role underlines the importance of the GFO initiative in Asia-Pacific. Globally UBS has over 300 people in its GFO team, including investment bankers.

However, it declines to break its Asia numbers out, with a spokesman saying only that the team is growing in the region. Sources indicate that Chou comes in with a hiring remit in the delivery of integrated bank solutions.

Chou reports to Amy Lo, the division’s Asia-Pacific head for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

She has spent 15 years working for Morgan Stanley private wealth management, where she held various management roles including co-heading the PWM business for Hong Kong client coverage and managing a joint venture between PWM and the institutional securities group.

Separately, UBS wealth management has also recruited Linda Kwo from BNP Paribas as one of its five country team heads for Hong Kong. Her appointment is effective from December 1.

She comes in to replace Marina Lui, who has joined the firm’s ultra-high-net-worth team. Kwo reports directly to Francis Liu, regional market manager for Hong Kong; she also works beneath Jean-Claude Humair, the regional market manager for Hong Kong.

In the memo, Kathryn Shih, CEO of UBS wealth management, notes that the firm has made more than 450 new hires across Asia-Pacific since the start of this year. “Our ability to attract and retain talent continues to be a lynchpin of our business platform,” she says.

Kwo’s most recent position was as managing director at BNP Paribas wealth management, where she headed a team of private bankers and marketing assistants. She has also previously worked for Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered.