UBS Wealth Management has announced a series of key strategic hires in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In Hong Kong, Adeline Chien joins as a managing director, while JP Upadhyaya and Agnes Kuan join as executive directors. Chien and Kuan are assuming new roles, while Upadhyaya replaces Bala Balagopalan, a desk head who left the Hong Kong office.

In Singapore, Irene Tan joins as a managing director, while Jonathan Ng and Ong Lay-Khiam join as executive directors. All three are filling new posts.

ôDespite challenging market conditions, UBS continues to focus on enhancing its franchise by selectively hiring experienced bankers,ö says Kathryn Shih, head of UBS Wealth Management for Asia-Pacific, noting that Hong Kong and Singapore are key markets for UBS.

The demand for high-quality investment advice is critical in the current environment, Shih notes.

ôAsia-Pacific generally, and Hong Kong and Singapore specifically, remain key and growing markets for UBS. Against this background, we continue to hire strategically according to our business needs,ö she says.

Chien is part of the client team and reports to Frankie Law, also a managing director. She was at UBS Wealth Management between 1995 and 2004. She joins UBS Wealth Management from Goldman Sachs, where she was executive director for private wealth management. She has more than 15 years of experience in private banking and, previously, worked for American Express Bank, Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Upadhyaya focuses on non-resident Indians and reports to Srinivas Siripurapu, a managing director. He joins from HSBC Private Bank where he was senior director and team head covering the Indian diaspora in the region. Before that, he held a variety of senior positions in private and commercial banks including MeesPierson/Fortis Bank and UCO Bank. He has eight years experience in private banking and 20 years in commercial banking.

Kuan focuses on a key client team in Hong Kong and reports PH Ching, an executive director. For the last 12 years, Kuan worked for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, most recently as a vice-president and portfolio counsellor with the managed products group.

Tan (who reports to managing director Peter Kok) and Ng (who reports to managing director Irene Tan) are part of the client team in Singapore. Ong focuses on entrepreneurs in Singapore and reports to managing director Eddie Gan.

Tan was an executive director at HSBC Private Bank covering Southeast Asia clients and has 20 years experience in wealth management having worked with Overseas Union Bank, Credit Agricole Indosuez and Coutts Bank.

Ng was a senior director at HSBC Private Bank responsible for Southeast Asia client relationship development. He has 13 years experience in wealth management and previously worked for Credit Agricole Indosuez and Coutts Bank.

Ong has worked in the banking and finance industry in Singapore since 1971, principally as a commercial banker where he has held several senior positions. These include: vice-president of the national banking group at DBS Bank; director and executive vice-president at Tat Lee Bank; general manger, corporate banking at Keppel Tat Lee Bank; and executive vice-president, at Hong Leong Finance.

UBS Wealth Management has more than 1,000 client advisors across Asia-Pacific.