UBS Wealth Management has hired Philip Kunz from HSBC Private Bank as regional market head to drive growth in its Southeast Asia business.
The industry veteran started as a managing director late last month in Singapore. He reports to Christine Ong, CEO of the firm’s wealth management business in the city-state.
AsianInvestor understands Kunz will be leading the charge in Indonesia, one of the largest parts of UBS’s wealth management business in the region.
He is a direct replacement for Susan Co, the previous regional market head who in October was appointed to a team of senior advisers for UBS’s ultra-high-net-worth (UNHW) segment.
Most recently Kunz was regional head of wealth management for HSBC Private Bank. Sources suggest he had been hoping to succeed Jimmy So as CEO of HSBC Private Bank Singapore. However, HSBC relocated Nancie Dupier for the role earlier this year. She had been chief investment officer and head of the investment product group for HSBC in the Americas. “I think his nose was put out of joint,” the source suggests.
A spokesman for HSBC Private Bank was unavailable for comment.
Kunz has held a number of senior positions, including head of Indonesia at Clariden Leu and chief representative of Asia-Pacific private banking at ABN Amro Private Bank. Prior to that, he worked at Credit Suisse for 16 years.
In a statement, Ong says: “Philip’s outstanding track record of growing new markets and developing solid client relationships adds further depth to our leadership team. Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and his appointment underlines the commitment of UBS to this region.”
The Swiss wealth manager suffered a number of departures from its wealth management business after the financial crisis, especially in Singapore.
But a spokesman for UBS Wealth Management in Singapore points out: “Since the beginning of 2010, we have hired close to 400 new people, including 150 client advisers. We continue to hire strategically. In the medium term, we expect to grow the number of client advisers in Asia-Pacific from 900 to 1,200, in line with business needs.”
Senior hires that UBS Wealth Management has made this year include: Vinay Gandhi as country team head for India; Reto Marx as country team head for South Asia ultra-high-net-worth business; Annie Margono as chief representative in Indonesia; and Jeremy Tan and Elan Cohen to its ultra-high-net-worth team.