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HONG KONG Nov 19 UBS AG UBSN.VX said on
Wednesday it has hired six executives for its Asian wealth
management arm, as it looks to retain its lead position in the
region even as the global financial crisis slams the industry.
The Swiss firm, the largest banker to the rich globally and
in Asia, said the executives would join its operations in Hong
Kong and Singapore. UBS Wealth Management has more than 1,000
client advisers across the Asia Pacific region.
"Despite challenging market conditions, UBS continues to
focus on enhancing its franchise by selectively hiring
experienced bankers," Kathryn Shih, head of UBS Wealth
Management, Asia Pacific, said in a statement.
She added that the hires "underline UBS's commitment to
building its wealth management business in Asia".
UBS was the largest private bank in Asia, ahead of Citigroup
(C.N), HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L)(0005.HK), Credit Suisse CSGN.VX
and Merrill Lynch MER.N according to a recent ranking by
The hires announced on Wednesday include Adeline Chien, who
UBS said was most recently an executive director with the private
wealth arm of Goldman Sachs (GS.N). Chien will join as a managing
director in Hong Kong.
J.P. Upadhyaya, who recently headed HSBC Private Bank's team
focusing on wealthy Indians living abroad, will join as an
executive director in Hong Kong. Also joining as an executive
director in Hong Kong is Agnes Kuan, who worked for Merrill's
private banking arm for more than a decade.
Irene Tan, Jonathan Ng and Ong Lay Khiam will join UBS in
Singapore. Tan and Ng were both at HSBC, while Ong is a former
Shih told Reuters last month that the unit had slowed the
rate at which it was adding staff as markets tumbled. She said it
was looking to add around 100 advisers after adding about 350
client advisers annually in recent years.
UBS said earlier this month a state bailout was helping stem
client money outflows, but it needed stable markets to revive its
key wealth management business. UBS has made more writedowns than
any other bank in Europe, which spurred some of its rich clients
to move assets elsewhere.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)