Last October, amid widespread speculation about the direction of US rates and fears about the global economy, Switzerland’s Bank Julius Baer released its annual Wealth Report. The document, which tracked the rise and fall of wealth among the very rich, provided a tonic to the doom and gloom heard from some parts of the market.
Julius Baer told its clients that the wealth held by high net worth investors in countries across Asia would jump in the next five years. Among a raft of predictions, it said that the wealth held by investors in the Philippines would grow to $197 billion in 2020, from $60 billion in 2010. It also predicted that, after some stagnation, high-net-worth investors in Thailand would hold around $344 billion in 2020, compared to $272 billion in 2014.
That was not just idle talk. Bank Julius Baer stepped up its commitment to both countries this week, announcing the hire of former Credit Suisse banker Angela Bow to strengthen its business in Thailand and the Philippines. Bow becomes head of emerging Asia, a new position at the bank. She will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Jimmy Lee, head of Asia Pacific.
The hire means the Philippine and Thai teams, who previously had separate reporting lines, will now report straight to Bow. Bank Julius Baer is betting that fact – combined with Bow’s three decades of banking experience – will help them make the most of growing opportunities in the two countries.
In other people moves, HSBC lost a Southeast Asian dealmaker after Alvin Lim left the firm.
Lim, head of banking advisory for Southeast Asia, had been in his job for barely a year after getting promoted in April 2015. He had worked at HSBC since 2004.
There are rumours that Lim is going to a buyside job, but that could not be confirmed before this story went to press. HSBC declined to comment.