Asian private banking veteran , Urs Brutsch has joined Clariden Bank, where he will lead the private bank's expansion in Asia.

Brutsch has been hired from ABN AMRO Private Banking, whose Asian operations he ran from Singapore. He spent five-and-a-half years with ABN and successfully built the firm's reputation in the private banking arena. Clariden is the independent private bank that resides within the Credit Suisse Group (and is thus distinct from Credit Suisse Private Bank). Its push into Asia is timely. The region is seeing the fastest growth globally of any private banking market, and as our survey of family wealth in the September issue of FinanceAsia shows, the region's 100 richest families are generating new income of around $2.8 billion per year from their listed family businesses - all of which needs to be re-invested with the help of private bankers. The region's rich families also have many succession issues.

Clariden is a true private bank," says Brutsch. "I think it provides the best of both worlds - the cache of a private bank with the backing of a 'giant'. It is Clariden's objective to strengthen its positon in Asia and I am excited to lead that mission."

Clariden was established in 1955 and has assets under management of SwF32.5 billion ($25.7 billion), made after-tax profit of SwF120 million in 2003 and has around 600 staff.