DBS has appointed Neil Ge as CEO-designate of its China business, the Singapore-based bank said on Friday. He replaces Melvin Teo, who will remain with DBS and take up a new role.
Ge was hired from Credit Suisse Founder Securities, where he was CEO and a managing director until the final quarter of 2011. He joins DBS on June 1 subject to regulatory approvals and, like Teo, will be a member of DBS's group management committee.
Ge, who grew up in Shanghai, has more than 20 years international banking experience, which has included spells in Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York. He was a managing director in Credit Suisse's Shanghai office, where he helped build the joint venture between Credit Suisse and Founder Securities. Ma Yong is now CEO of the firm, and joined from Haitong Securities late last year.
Earlier in his career, Ge was a managing director and a member of the executive committee at BOC International (BOCI). His role was to develop BOCI's institutional businesses in Hong Kong and mainland China.
“Given [Ge’s] extensive banking experience as well as his wide connections, I believe he will be able to help ... bring DBS China to the next level,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta.
China is the third-biggest contributor to DBS’s group profits, after Singapore and Hong Kong, according to a statement by the bank on Friday. DBS China’s net profit doubled from the previous year, exceeding Rmb500 million ($78.5 million) for the first time.
DBS opened its first representative office in Beijing in 1993 and incorporated locally in May 2007. It has grown its customer base in China by about eight times, and doubled its staff strength to more than 1,600, according to the statement.
It has 25 outlets across China, where it is building a platform for corporate banking, trade finance, cash management, treasury and markets, as well as wealth management. There are also plans to expand into new businesses such as commodity trade finance.
“Undoubtedly, mainland China is one of our key priorities; not only is the domestic franchise growing rapidly, it is also contributing strongly to the success of our Greater China business, which today contributes about 30% of DBS’ revenues. [Teo] has done an outstanding job in providing business leadership and strengthening DBS China,” said Gupta.
DBS has more than 200 branches in 15 countries. It is the market leader in Singapore with more than four million customers and also has a growing presence in what it has identified as “the three key Asian axes of growth”: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. In April, it made an offer to buy Temasek’s stake in Indonesia’s Bank Danamon.