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Private Banks Fighting to Win Asia'S Wealthy
Source: The Business Times
Source Date: Saturday, October 09, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Created: Oct 10, 2010

THE number of newly minted billionaires in Asia is growing by leaps and bounds and this has become the latest battle ground among leading private banks competing to manage the money of the region's wealthiest citizens.

Many private banks are ramping up operations of their so-called ultra high net worth (UHNW) units through fierce poaching of each other's senior staff because only the most experienced bankers will be able to connect with billionaire clients.

'At this level, many of their family offices operate as mini banks,' said Rachel Lin, spokeswoman of UBS Ag.

'Some large family offices are run by investment professionals and are no different from a pension fund or insurance company in their level of professionalism and sophistication,' said Carlo Grigioni, UBS vice-chairman of wealth management.

UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, last month added two senior private bankers to its UHNW team; another group has been hired and will be revealed later this month, Ms Lin said.

The bank has about 1,000 wealth management staff based in Singapore, one of its two private banking hubs in Asia.

UBS counts more the half of Asia's billionaires as its clients.
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