On Thursday, London-headquartered Standard Chartered bank announced the appointment of James Lye to the newly created role of global head of International Banking.
“He will drive the execution of the bank’s international wealth hub strategy, supported by a strong talent agenda and seamless cross-border journeys to accelerate our International Banking business,” a spokesperson for Standard Chartered told FinanceAsia.
Taking effect from November 01, Lye’s Singapore-based appointment is part of the bank’s strategy to drive growth across its wealth management business, which has seen a strong uptick in recent years. Currently, the bank offers its wealth services in four international cross-border hubs; Dubai, Hong Kong, Jersey and Singapore.
“With increasing international and inter-generational mobility, we are cognisant that our affluent clients have growing needs to manage their wealth across different jurisdictions,” the spokesperson told FA, adding that the bank’s capabilities position it well to offer clients choice and flexibility.
Indeed, a number of banks with Asia-based businesses are ramping up efforts to tap into the significant pools of capital based in the region. Following a strategic review announced in a SEC filing in April 2021, Lye’s most recent employer, Citi, announced its decision to withdraw its consumer franchises from 13 global markets in order to pivot its focus towards institutional clients and a growing wealth business. A spokesperson for Citi confirmed earlier this month that the withdrawal process for Asian markets is largely complete.
Lye brings to the Standard Chartered team over two decades of banking experience. He most recently served as head of Markets for Citi’s offshore investment and wealth management business unit, where he was responsible for a team of approximately 300 bankers. In his new capacity, he reports to Raymond Ang, global head of Affluent Clients, and Samir Subberwal, head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking for Asia, and global head of Digital Business.
Commenting on the appointment, Subberwal said in the release, “Increased cross-border wealth management needs arising from increasing international mobility is a trend that is here to stay. We have doubled our International Banking team in the last three years and will continue to support our clients by hiring the best talents and enhancing our International Banking proposition through investments in digitalisation.”
Lye is not an unfamiliar face in the Singaporean market. Prior to his banking career, he appeared as an actor in 1990s TV dramas, Triple Nine and VR Man, in starring roles.